The Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) recently shed light on the debate on the 'why and wherefore' of the European Commission's recent recommendation for a definition of the term 'nanomaterial' in the context of existing 'nano'-definitions: "The ISO definition is a technical definition, while the Commission's is a regulatory one," says Steffi Friedrichs, Director General of the NIA in an interview with ChemicalWatch. "These are significant differences in purpose, deeply influencing the scope and wording of the two different definitions. The Commission's is based on the potential hazard of a material; it seeks to identify such material and guide it through a risk assessment. It also aims to inform the regulators of the economic impact and spread of nanomaterials on the market, and this will be heavily distorted by conducting it against the background of a hazard-based definition".
In its November 2011 article ChemicalWatch wonders if the publication of the long-awaited definition recommendation by the European Commission will 'have any immediate impacts on industry or do other parts of the regulatory puzzle have to fall into place before it becomes clear how nanomaterials will be regulated in the future?...Are any of the substances or materials that your company produces "nanomaterials"'.