The Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) published a full comment on the 27th Report of the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP), entitled Novel Materials in the Environment: The case of nanotechnology. In its opening remarks, the NIA points out that it ‘welcomes the RCEP report, and supports many of its findings and recommendations’.
The NIA statement continues to highlight and comment on specific findings of the RCEP report, including:
- 'The NIA applauds RCEP’s objectivity in reporting that ‘the Commission found no evidence of harm to health or the environment from nanomaterials’
- While noting ’that it is not the size of nanomaterials per se that is important, but their functionality, what they do and how they behave, that needs to be evaluated’, the RCEP recommends focusing on ‘the properties and functionalities of specific nanomaterials as the key driver rather than treat all materials in the size range as one single class’. The NIA welcomes this recommendation, and sees it as a key element in the current debate on nano-specific policies
- The NIA believes that it is unnecessary ‘to extend the coverage within the European Union of the existing regulatory regime for chemicals (REACH)’, as proposed by the RCEP because, as explained by the European Commission, nanomaterials are already fully covered by REACH as it is currently implemented
- The NIA particularly welcomes the RCEP’s assertion that labelling, despite fulfilling the legitimate wish of consumer information, ‘might also convey the false impression that nanomaterials have uniform properties, and is unlikely to be able to provide useful information about impacts on health or the environment. At present, we see no reason to recommend product labelling for nanomaterials’