Germany expert group calls for tighter rules on nanomaterials

01 September 2011 16:21  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A German government expert group is recommending tighter regulations for nanomaterials, it said on Thursday.

In a 600-page report, the Sachverstandigenrat fur Umweltfragen (SRU) put forward a number of proposals to adapt and tighten rules in the chemicals, environmental and related fields.

Christian Calliess, the SRU’s legal expert, said that Germany needs to fully apply the “precautionary principle” to the nanosector.

A precautionary approach is required under the country’s constitution, and it makes political sense in order to create confidence in the new nanotechnology, said Calliess.

The expert environment group calls for “more transparency” about the use of nanomaterials and it recommends the establishment of a specific “nanoproducts register”.

Germany’s chemical industry trade association Verband der Chemischen
(VCI) said the expert group’s report makes clear that there is no scientific evidence that nanomaterials – as currently produced and used – are harming consumers’ health or the environment.

VCI opposes a nanoproducts register, saying nanomaterials are already covered by chemical databases and rules, including the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals (Reach) regulations.

For more on chemicals and the environment read Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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