NIA has released its report on the ‘Symposium on Grouping and Read-Across’ that it held on 26 November 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. The symposium centred on addressing a key issue of the 2011 European Commission (EC) Recommendation on the Definition of Nanomaterial, which is that it categorised an estimated 50% of all commercially-used materials as ‘nanomaterials’.
In order to improve this situation, the stakeholder groups most responsible for the implementation of characterisation and testing of nanomaterials began urging a move away from the currently recommended case-by-case approach to a more efficient and sustainable system; one of the systems proposed to tackle the problem is that of grouping and read-across. In order to determine whether this system should be adopted or not, several questions had to be addressed:
How can nanomaterials be ‘grouped’ or ‘categorised’ so as to:
- Reduce the number of measurements and tests that need to be performed?
- Allow for a ‘safety-by-design’ approach? And
- Identify the relevant Substance Identity (SID)?
- Which parameters play a role in the grouping of nanomaterials? (i.e. physico-chemical characteristics, hazard profiles, bioavailability, etc.)?
- How can ‘read-across’ from the bulk form of a material be applied to a nanomaterial of the same chemical composition (and vice versa)?
NIA’s symposium looked to address these issues, and in order to do so it invited several external speakers to present and discuss their institution’s point-of-view on the topics. Invited speakers included:
- Andrej Kobe, European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)
- Dr Wim de Coen, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
- Dr Yasir Sultan and Brad Fisher, Environment Canada
- Dr Tracy Williamson, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
NIA Members can follow this link to download the NIA report from the symposium, as well as external coverage by news organisations.