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OECD Project Examines if Nanomaterials Present Special Risks at Industrial Facilities

Summary posted by Meridian on 5/28/2013

Source: Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report (24 May 2013)

Author(s): Rick Mitchell

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is studying whether industrial uses of nanomaterials raise safety issues not addressed by existing guidelines or regulatory systems. The project, which is in its very early stages, will consider whether to adapt a 2003 guiding principles document to address possible workplace safety issues raised by nanomaterials, and will also focus on whether national and European Union regulations on chemical accident prevention need to be adapted. Peter Kearns, the principal administrator of OECD’s Environment Directorate, said, “It's a project in [the] very early stages. So far, we haven't uncovered anything in particular [that needs to be adapted], but we haven't reached the end of the project and are looking in detail to make sure that [initial observation] is correct.” The Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials, which is also part of the project, will be conducting a series of workshops in various countries to consider how groupings of test guidelines and protocols could be adapted for nanomaterials. The group will meet in December to consider conclusions from the workshops held to that point, will make recommendations, and set priorities for testing guidelines. “There may be a need for something new, such as an agreement on how we think size measurement should be done for physical chemical properties for nanomaterials,” Kearns said. David Azoulay, managing attorney for the Geneva-based Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), said the OECD’s work on these issues is “important,” but should not be rushed in an effort to speed market access for these substances.

The original article may still be available at http://www.bna.com/daily-environment-report-p4751/

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Implications: GovernanceWorker SafetyEnvironmental RisksHuman Health Risks

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Materials and Manufacturing: ManufacturingMaterials

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