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Dutch RIVM calls for further Guidance on EC Nanomaterial Definition

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) recently released a report in which it stated that, whilst the European Commission's recent recommended definition of nanomaterial 'contains the relevant aspects...further guidance is needed to ensure the definition is interpreted consistently'. The review, entitled Interpretation and implications of the European Commission Recommendation on the definition of nanomaterial, looks at both the scientific and the legislative implications of the EC's definition.

The authors agree that 'a distinction should be made between natural, incidental or manufactured' nanomaterials, and understand the Commission's reasoning behind the choices of the 1-100 nm size range and 50% particle number threshold. The report does note that 'scientific evidence would contribute to better understanding [of] the implications of the chosen threshold values', and states that the definition's wording of'aggregate' should be reassessed, as it could lead to a 'misinterpretation of the nanomaterial definition'. Furthermore the paper concludes that a threshold for nanomaterial 'needs to be defined', as a material with most particles over 100 nm would not fall under the definition but could still have a significant amount of particles under 100 nm.

Implications of the definition are given 'specifically for biocides, plant protection products, cosmetics, food, medicinal products, medical devices, REACH, CLP, and occupational health and safety'. Based on these, it notes that more specific information may be needed for hazard assessment as well on any surface treatments done.


Follow this link to read the full report by RIVM, and this link to read the NIA's reporting of the EC's recommended definition of nanomaterial.

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