EC JRC Report Discusses Labeling and Reporting Schemes for Nanomaterials

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On May 19, 2014, the European Commission (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC) announced the availability of a report discussing labeling and reporting schemes for nanomaterials in consumer products in the European Union (EU). The JRC notes that current EU legislation requires nanomaterials to be reported in the list of ingredients, with “nano” added in brackets after the substance name, for food, cosmetics, and biocides.  According to the JRC, manufacturers sometimes add voluntary “nanoclaims” indicating the presence or absence of nanomaterials. The JRC states that a product register may give a better overview of the overall application of nanomaterials and potential exposure of humans and the environment.  The EC already requires mandatory reporting for cosmetic products containing nanomaterials.  Some EU Member States (France, Belgium, and Denmark) have or are introducing mandatory reporting schemes for a wider range of consumer products.  The JRC states that several EU Member States, including Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden would prefer a harmonized central EU nanomaterials register.  The report emphasizes that “only mandatory reporting/labelling of products containing nanomaterials can assure accurate and comprehensive information.  Harmonised procedures are needed to avoid trade barriers and unfair commercial practices.” The report states that a claim of the presence (or absence) of nanomaterials in products should be verifiable, and provides an overview of experimental methods available for this purpose.

 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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