On June 26, 2008, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) passed a resolution on nanotechnologies and nanomaterials, which calls for the application of the precautionary principle. The resolution states that application of the precautionary principle is necessary to avoid “past mistakes [made] with putatively ‘miracle’ technologies and materials. According to ETUC, the number of workers coming into contact with nanomaterials will increase sharply as nanotechnologies are applied to difference industry sectors, including the chemical, pharmaceutical, and electronics industries. The ETUC urges the European Commission (EC) to amend the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation “so as to give better and wider coverage to all potentially manufacturable nanomaterials.” Because nanomaterials are manufactured or imported below the threshold of one tonne per year and may evade the REACH registration requirements, “ETUC demands that different thresholds and/or units (e.g., surface area per volume) are used for registration of nanomaterials under REACH.”
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