Regulatory Cooperation Council Holds Stakeholder Webinar on Nanotechnology Initiative

On November 28, 2012, the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) held a webinar to discuss its RCC Nanotechnology Work Plan. Canada and the U.S. created the RCC to align better their regulatory approaches in a number of areas, including nanotechnology. According to information presented during the webinar, while the U.S. has received 137 notifications concerning nanomaterial substances, Canada has received only 16. While most of the nanomaterial substances notified in the U.S. were inorganic carbon, most of those notified in Canada were mixed metal oxides. During the webinar, both Canadian and U.S. spokespersons noted the difficulty in sharing information, due to confidential business information (CBI) claims. The RCC would like to be able to share information to inform better their regulatory programs and risk assessment/management approaches. This would include:

  • General Substance Information: Substance name, company, applications, volumes; and
  • Technical Substance Specific Information: Physchem properties, technical studies, and use pattern information.

The RCC requested that industry provide more information on the commercial distribution of nanomaterials, as well as more transparency by claiming confidentiality of only that information absolutely critical to market advantage.

To compare risk assessment and risk management practices to highlight and identify best practices, data gaps, and differences between the two jurisdictions, the RCC sought nominations of a nanomaterial substance for a case study. Four nanomaterial substances were nominated: multiwall carbon nanotubes, nanocrystalline cellulose, nano silver, and titanium dioxide. The RCC has selected multiwall carbon nanotubes for the case study. The RCC intends to hold in March 2013 a workshop in Washington, D.C., to discuss information collected to date and approaches moving forward. In spring 2013, the RCC will hold one or two conference calls or webinars to discuss information gathered between countries and the path forward. Finally, in fall 2013, the RCC expects to hold a stakeholder consultation/workshop on results to date.

EPA Announces RCC Nanotechnology Webinar and Requests Nominations for Case Studies

The Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) will hold a webinar on November 28, 2012, on its RCC Nanotechnology Work Plan. Canada and the U.S. created the RCC to align better their regulatory approaches in a number of areas, including nanotechnology. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the purpose of the RCC’s nanotechnology initiative is to increase, where possible, regulatory transparency and coordination between the U.S. and Canada respecting nanomaterials. The Nanotechnology Work Plan includes specific objectives, deliverables, and milestones for tangible progress within the RCC’s two-year mandate. During the November 28, 2012, webinar, RCC will provide additional background information, as well as updates on ongoing activities under the Nanotechnology Work Plan. Stakeholders should confirm their webinar attendance no later than October 25, 2012.

Under the Nanotechnology Work Plan, there is a pilot project to examine Canadian and U.S. risk assessment and risk management practices and approaches through an evaluation of case studies for specific nanomaterials. EPA states that Canada and the U.S. are considering a number of materials for the case studies and would welcome suggestions from stakeholders. Proposals of nanomaterials for consideration are due October 25, 2012, and must include:

  • Chemical name of the nanomaterial;
  • Whether the nanomaterial has been notified to/reviewed by either jurisdiction;
  • Commercial applications of the nanomaterial;
  • Information on exposure and environmental fate of the nanomaterial;
  • A complete list of available test data on the nanomaterial and related analogs, including environmental and human toxicity studies; and
  • Acknowledgment that, for the purposes of this exercise, both Canada and the U.S. will be able to exchange information freely, including confidential business information (CBI).