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EC JRC concludes review of EC Recommendation for a Definition of Nanomaterial

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission  (JRC) published the third and last report of the series of reports on the review of the European Commission Recommendation for a Definition of Nanomaterial (2011/0696).

This report, Towards a review of the EC Recommendation for a definition of the term “nanomaterial” – Part 3: Scientific-technical evaluation of options to clarify the definition and to facilitate its implementation, follows a summary of the experiences stakeholders had in implementing the definition: Towards a review of the EC Recommendation for a definition of the term ‘nanomaterial’ – Part 1: Compilation of information concerning the experience with the definition and a report evaluating this experience: Towards a review of the EC Recommendation for a definition of the term ‘nanomaterial’ – Part 2: Assessment of collected information concerning the experience with the definition.

This third report provides options ‘for resolving issues identified in the past three years’ and considers that ‘most of the scientific-technical issues discussed so far could be dealt with through a carefully balanced set of modifications to the definition and of new or additional guidelines for implementation of the definition’.

In order to address these issues, JRC considers a number of key elements of the definition and evaluates a number of options to deal with each of these. JRC states that a number of terms should be given more precise definitions while others should enter the definition (i.e. ‘constituent particle’). Also, volume-specific surface area (VSSA) could be used to ‘prove that a material is not a nanomaterial’ adds the JRC.  The report finally underlines the need for guidance documents on the following topics: a) good measurement practice, b) minimum external dimension and c) sample preparation dispersion.

Overall, ‘the scope of the definition regarding the origin of nanomaterials should remain unchanged, addressing natural, incidental as well as manufactured nanomaterials’. Due to the regulatory purpose of the definition, the JRC considers that size should remain the ‘sole defining property of a nanoparticle’ and that the range of 1 nm to 100 nm should be kept.

The report rejects the proposal of using harmonised terminology based on the ISO definitions as specific regulatory considerations ought to be taken into account by the European Commission and the ISO definition is too broad.

 

Please follow these links to read previous NIA coverage of the first and second JRC reports on the review of the EC recommendation for a definition of the term “nanomaterial” and these links to download the full reports:

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