On December 30, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report entitled EPA Needs to Manage Nanomaterial Risks More Effectively. According to OIG, the purpose of its review was to determine how effectively EPA is managing the human health and environmental risks of nanomaterials. OIG states that it found “that EPA does not currently have sufficient information or processes to effectively manage the human health and environmental risks of nanomaterials.” According to OIG, although EPA has the statutory authority to regulate nanomaterials, it “currently lacks the environmental and human health exposure and toxicological data to do so effectively.” EPA proposed a policy, under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), that would identify new pesticides being registered with nanoscale materials.  After “minimal industry participation” in EPA’s Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP), a voluntary data collection program, EPA has chosen to propose mandatory reporting rules for nanomaterials under FIFRA, and is developing proposed rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).


Continue Reading

At the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Standards Board’s (NOSB) October 25-28, 2010, meeting, NOSB unanimously recommended that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) prohibit engineered nanomaterials from certified organic products. NOSB considered a September 2, 2010, guidance document prepared by its Materials Committee concerning engineered nanomaterials in organic production, processing, and packaging. According to the Materials Committee, public comment “overwhelmingly agrees that nanotechnology in organic production and processing be prohibited at this time.” The Materials Committee notes, however, that “there is considerable debate and disagreement on what exactly nanotechnology is and what products of nanotechnology should be prohibited.”. The Materials Committee requested that the NOP allow NOSB to call for a symposium “to discuss the issues related to the human-engineered portion of this science,” which “would help to clarify these confusing issues, and serve to educate both the Board and the NOP on this topic.”


Continue Reading

According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) website, on July 30, 2010, OMB received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a notice concerning “Pesticide Products Containing Nanoscale Materials.” No additional information regarding the notice is available on OMB’s website. During the April 29, 2010, meeting of EPA’s Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC), William Jordan

The August 2010 issue of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Environmental Factor includes an article regarding the Intramural NanoHealth Signature Program, which is intended to investigate the health effects of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) in susceptible populations. According to the article, ENMs are increasingly found in medications, cosmetics, electronics, and other consumer products

On April 29, 2010, during the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) meeting, William Jordan, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), presented slides regarding nanotechnology and pesticides. Jordan briefly described how OPP is defining nanoscale materials and how the technology is being applied to the field of pesticides. His presentation described OPP’s recent consultation with EPA’s Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) concerning nanosilver and other nanometal pesticide products, as well as other ongoing regulatory activity and future actions OPP intends to take.


Continue Reading

On March 19, 2009, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (CDTSC) will hold a full-day nanotechnology symposium on nanomaterials regulation from a variety of perspectives. According to CDTSC, the symposium will focus on the regulatory aspects of nanotechnology, the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and CDTSC’s chemical information call-in program including nanoscale materials. CDTSC states that federal interest in nanomaterial regulation and California’s efforts “provide a great opportunity for fostering technological advances that recognize environmental and public health concerns. The goal is to create a partnership where we can enhance research where needed and promote sustainable processes as well as applications.” Registration is required. The symposium will also be available via web cast.


Continue Reading

On January 12, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released
its interim report on the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP), which is a
voluntary program that EPA established to assemble existing data and information from
manufacturers and processors of certain nanoscale materials. Under the Basic Program, EPA
invited participants to voluntarily report available information

According to a notice in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) November 24, 2008, Regulatory Agenda, EPA intends to publish an interim evaluation in March 2009 of the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP), and a final evaluation of the NMSP, including next steps, in April 2010. The NMSP is a voluntary program that EPA established

On July 22, 2008, Jim Willis stated that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is prepared to issue a rule under Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain data regarding nanoscale materials. Under the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) Basic Program, EPA asked companies to report data voluntarily on the engineered nanoscale materials they manufacture, import, process, or use. As of July 22, 2008, manufacturers of approximately 60 nanoscale materials had responded to EPA that they would participate in the NMSP. Willis stated that he hoped more companies would participate, so that data on about 100 nanoscale materials would be provided. The deadline for submissions under the Basic Program is July 28, 2008.
Continue Reading

On May 20, 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that it would like to initiate discussions regarding testing of nanoscale materials under the in-depth portion of the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP). Under the NMSP, companies that manufacture, import, process, or use nanoscale materials for commercial purposes voluntarily submit data to EPA and also participate in the development of additional data. To date, EPA has received three submissions for nanoscale materials under the basic program. EPA has also received commitments from ten additional companies to submit data on nanoscale materials under the basic program. Thus far, no one has signed up to participate in the in-depth portion of the NMSP, however. EPA encourages anyone interested in starting this dialogue to contact it.
Continue Reading