The European Union Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) has posted the workshop report from the March 9, 2018, Stakeholder Dialogue meeting. According to the report, the annual meeting focused on providing an update on EUON and allowing stakeholders an opportunity to share their views on expectations on the future development of EUON. During his welcome address, Jukka Malm, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), acknowledged that some stakeholders preferred a mandatory register for nanomaterials instead of an observatory. Malm reminded stakeholders that the meeting should “focus on how to best work together to make EUON more useful within existing limitations.” According to Abdel Sumrein, ECHA, EUON intends to launch two databases in June 2018, eNanoMapper and NanoData. Sumrein described the possible future integration of national inventories on nanomaterials to EUON. Sumrein stated that studies on pigments and on EU markets are expected to be published in May 2018. Georgios Katalagarianakis, European Commission (EC), RTD, explained EU nano safety research policy, highlighting the Nano Safety Cluster and stressing the importance for research to match with regulatory objectives. Monique Groenewold, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), offered an EU Member State’s view of what EUON should deliver to regulators, including transparency, traceability, monitoring, knowledge of what is on the market, and user-friendly and easily accessible databases to understand the risks. Groenewold stated that it is key to continue urging the EC to provide necessary preconditions such as an update to the Annexes of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation; a harmonized and unequivocal EU definition of nanomaterials; and future financial commitment of the EC. Damien De Geeter, French Ministry for an Ecological and Solidary Transition, discussed the lessons learned from the French national register for nanomaterials. According to De Geeter, limited access to the data in the register was given only to French regulatory and research agencies due to confidentiality concerns, and the data are being used for risk assessment and exposure on a national level. Aida Ponce del Castillo, European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), gave a presentation outlining five key development proposals on the regulatory governance of nanomaterials: make information about nanomaterials public and visible; prioritize nanoforms; establish mandatory safety data sheets (SDS) for nanoforms; include labeling of nanomaterials in the same way as for cosmetics; and compile and harmonize data from national registries and disseminate it through EUON. Claire Skentelbery, Nanomaterials Industry Association (NIA), addressed industry expectations for EUON and how industry can contribute. Skentelbery’s suggestions for further developing EUON to meet industry needs include case studies on nanomaterials and nano-enabled product development, nano safety assessment tools linked to databases, links to standards for nanomaterials assessments, and a calendar of events where EUON is present as an umbrella for nanotechnology forums or topics.
The NanoBusiness Commercialization Association (NanoBCA) will hold its 17th annual conference on June 14, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Speakers will include Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., as well as:
- Jim Phillips, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NanoMech Corporation;
- Doyle Edwards, Director, Government Programs, Brewer Science;
- Marco Curreli, Ph.D., Executive Director and Founder, Omni Nano;
- Lisa Friedersdorf, Director, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office;
- Penelope Salmons, President, Fibrtec Inc.;
- Carleton JC Hsia, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO, AntiRadical Therapeutics LLC;
- Anis Rahman, Ph.D., President/Chief Technology Officer CTO, Applied Research & Photonics, Inc.; and
- A representative from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Registration is available online.
The 32nd Triennial Congress of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) was held April 29 through May 4, 2018, in Dublin, Ireland. Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) has published the abstracts for the Congress online, including the following ones concerning nanomaterials:
- “Update of potential hazards of nanomaterials,” by PA Schulte, I Iavicoli;
- “Overview — update of potential hazards of engineered nanomaterials,” by PA Schulte;
- “Noninvasive biomonitoring of 3 groups of nanomaterials workers with elevated markers of oxidative stress and inflammation,” by D Pelclova, V Zdimal, S Dvorackova, J Schwarz, J Ondracek, M Komarc, S Vlckova, Z Fenclova, O Makes, S Zakharov;
- “The potential carcinogenicity of carbon nanotubes (cnts): similarities and differences with the pathogenesis of asbestos related cancers,” by H Wolff;
- “Hazard determinants of carbon nanotubes (cnts) driving molecular initiating events (mies) in adverse outcome pathways (aops) of airways diseases,” by E Bergamaschi, E Aldieri, E Gazzano, E Polimeni, C Riganti, O Bussolati, M Allegri, MG Bianchi, F Donato, A Marucco, I Fenoglio;
- “A new risk grouping concept for high aspect ratio materials — adding fibre rigidity to the picture,” by D Kehren, D Broßell, A Meyer-Plath, S Plitzko;
- “A new risk grouping concept for high aspect ratio materials — the shaker dustiness test,” by D Broßell, D Kehren, E Heunisch, V Bachmann, D Wenzlaff, A Meyer-Plath, S Plitzko;
- “Occupational exposure to carbon nanotubes: the state of knowledge,” by I Guseva Canu; and
- “Challenging issues in carbon nanotube occupational risk assessment and management strategies,” by I Iavicoli, V Leso.
The Belgian Federal Public Service for Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment has published the first annual report for nano substances registered for placement on the market in 2016. Although the report is available only in French and Dutch at this time, each contains an executive summary in English. Of the 475 registrations submitted, importers submitted 56 percent of the registrations, distributors 22 percent, and manufacturers 11 percent. The rest were submitted by formulators or “others.” According to the executive summary, NACE(BEL) Code 20, manufacture of chemicals and chemical products, was used most often to describe the economic activity at the level of the company. At the level of the registrations, Code 20160, manufacture of plastics in primary forms, was used most frequently. In 2016, 57,550 tons of substances in nanoparticular state were imported, 16,947 tons were manufactured, and 13,815 tons were distributed. Substances registered in quantities greater than 1,000 tons include amorphous silica, calcium carbonate, calcium carbonate treated with stearic acid, carbon black, diiron trioxide, iron hydroxide oxide yellow, and silicon oxide. About half of the submitted registrations reported quantities below one ton. The executive summary states that evaluation of the submitted registrations shows that the quality of the registrations can be further improved. It also suggests the possibility that not all potential registrants are aware of the May 27, 2014, Royal Decree and the obligation to register. The nominative list of the substances registered for 2016 is presented in an annex to the report. Based on the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number, about 150 different chemical substances were identified. The executive summary notes that the chemical identification makes no distinction between the possible differences in the physico-chemical properties of the nanosubstances.
On April 23-24, 2018, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) held a NanoDialog to discuss “Nano-In-Vivo,” a long-term research project intended to close existing data gaps concerning the safety of nanomaterials. BMU, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), and BASF SE, with the participation of the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM) and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), launched the joint project in 2013. Using rat organisms, the project is studying the potential long-term effects of nanomaterials on the lungs and other organs. In particular, the tests are examining the impacts that low exposure levels have over a long period of time to identify the chronic effects of nanomaterials in the low-dose range. During the NanoDialog, meeting participants discussed the early study results. According to BMU, the study results will feed into ongoing work at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and discussion within the European Union on the risk assessment of nanomaterials. The study results are expected to be published at the end of 2018.
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) will hold the first in its series of free webinars for the nanotechnology entrepreneurship community on May 21, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. (EDT). NNCO states that the webinar will feature stories from entrepreneurs that have transitioned their university-based nanotechnology research through commercialization. Participants will share lessons learned, technological challenges faced, and how their university entrepreneurial ecosystem supported their efforts. Panelists will include:
- Angelique C. Johnson, founder and Chief Executive Officer of MEMStim LLC;
- Christopher Schuh, Chief Scientist of Xtalic Corporation; and
- Gleb Yushin, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Sila Nanotechnologies.
Registration is now open.
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA®) announced the availability of a nanomaterial product stewardship fact sheet sponsored by the AIHA® Nanotechnology Working Group. The fact sheet, “Nanomaterial Product Stewardship: National Security Implications of Export-import Activities,” authored by C.R. Knezevich, CIH, provides a thorough and helpful overview of export-import regulations affecting nanomaterials, reviews U.S. export regimes, and includes recommended practices and resources related to export-import activities. The purpose of the fact sheet is to give product safety specialists and industrial hygienists an overview of export-import requirements for nanomaterials and is not intended to be a regulatory compliance guide. The fact sheet states that nanotechnology “is a rapidly changing field with significant health, safety, environmental, and product stewardship considerations” and notes that the export of nanomaterials “presents additional global product stewardship challenges.” According to the fact sheet, these challenges require the cooperation of several departments within a business organization, including industrial hygienists, who “contribute technical, ethical, and critical-thinking skills to global business teams.” The fact sheet is a must read for nano enthusiasts and others engaged in export-import activities.
On May 2, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice announcing publication of its Final 2016 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan. The Plan describes EPA’s Clean Water Act rulemakings and other actions intended to control industrial wastewater pollution. According to the Plan, EPA continued several ongoing investigations, including one on the manufacture and processing of engineered nanomaterials as a potential new source of industrial wastewater discharge. The Plan states that based on the information gathered during this current review, research continues to suggest that engineered nanomaterials “are used in a wide range of industrial applications and domestic products, but little is known about production quantities, waste management practices, or the potential for release of [engineered nanomaterials] from most industrial wastestreams.” Incremental progress has been made to date towards developing analytical methods for detecting and quantifying nanomaterials in complex media, including industrial wastewater. According to the Plan, EPA will continue to look for opportunities to inform current data gaps, including:
- Potential sources, quantities, and types of engineered nanomaterials in industrial wastewater discharge;
- Fate, transformation, and treatment of engineered nanomaterials in industrial wastewaters, including their potential impact to municipal wastewater treatment plants that may receive industrial wastewater discharges; and
- The development of analytical methods to detect and quantify engineered nanomaterials. Filling these data gaps will enable EPA to assess more fully the potential presence and impact of engineered nanomaterials in industrial process water.
As reported in our February 16, 2018, blog item, the European Commission (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC) has opened a call to access its Nanobiotechnology Laboratory. The Nanobiotechnology Laboratory features state-of-the-art equipped facilities designed to foster interdisciplinary studies. Offering access to the Nanobiotechnology Laboratory is part of JRC’s strategy to enhance dissemination of scientific knowledge; boost competiveness; bridge the gap between research and industry; and provide training and capacity building. To be eligible, the lead user institution and user institutions must be from a European Union (EU) Member State, candidate country, or country associated with the EU Research Program Horizon 2020. The lead user institution must be from a university, research, or public institution, or from a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME). The call to access the JRC Nanobiotechnology Laboratory will close May 25, 2018.
The European Commission (EC) Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Committee voted on April 26, 2018, to amend several REACH Annexes to clarify the registration requirements for nanomaterials. According to the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) press release, the amendments address the knowledge gap regarding which substances registered under REACH are placed on the market as nanomaterials and in what quantities. ECHA states that the amendments will allow both companies and authorities to know more about the characteristics of nanomaterials, how they are used, how they are handled safely, what risks they potentially pose to health and the environment, and how these risks are controlled. The draft regulation is now subject to scrutiny by the European Parliament and Council for a period of three months before being adopted by the EC. ECHA states that it will begin to assess the need to update existing guidance or issue new guidance to support registrants in complying with the new requirements. As soon as the amendments are formally adopted, ECHA encourages registrants of nanoform substances to familiarize themselves with the amendments and assess what actions they need to take to comply. The EC held a public consultation in 2017 on a draft regulation that would amend the Annexes. More information on the draft regulation and public consultation is available in our blog items, “EC Proposes to Amend REACH Annexes to Address Nanomaterials” and “EC Posts Comments Received on Draft Regulation to Amend REACH Annexes to Address Nanomaterials.”