The European Union (EU) Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) announced on July 3, 2019, that it has added a new search tool for nanomaterials to its website. According to EUON, it will enable regulators to form a better view of available data and give consumers access to chemicals safety information. The search tool combines data submitted by companies in their registration dossiers under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, data collected about nanomaterials used as ingredients in cosmetic products under the Cosmetics Regulation, and data from the Belgian and French public national nanomaterial inventories. According to EUON, the search tool allows users to search easily for nanomaterials that are currently on the EU market. Search results are linked to the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) database of chemicals registered in the EU and, EUON states, “for the first time, summarised information about the substances, their properties as well as detailed safety and characterisation data can be easily found.” EUON notes that due to the differences in defining nanomaterials and tonnage reporting thresholds, the presence of a nanomaterial in any single data source does not mean that it is present in all of them. As the data sources have differing reporting rules and scopes, it is not always possible to match a material reported in one of the data sources with the substance in ECHA’s database. EUON states that where no match is possible, the material in the original data source has not been reported.
According to EUON, while there are over 300 nanomaterials on the EU market, only 37 are currently covered by an existing REACH registration. As reported in our December 4, 2018, blog item, the European Commission (EC) amended the REACH information requirements to include explicit obligations for nanomaterials manufactured in or imported to the EU. The new requirements enter into force in January 2020 and will result in more publicly available information.