Commission signs agreement with the European Chemicals Agency to set up an EU Observatory for Nanomaterials
The Commission signed an agreement with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to set up an EU Observatory for Nanomaterials. The aim of the Observatory is to give objective and reliable information on products and safety aspects of nanomaterials both for European citizens and experts.
The signing of the delegation agreement marks the formal kick-off for ECHA to start working on the European Union Observatory for Nanomaterials (EU-ON).
The information sources for the observatory will include data generated by various pieces of EU legislation regulating the safe use of nanomaterials (e.g. REACH, biocides, cosmetics), from national inventories, research projects, and market studies. By that, it will bring added value not only to European citizens but also to policy makers, industry, NGOs and workers.
Nanomaterials are widespread in everyday products and have been for a long time, due to this , setting up a registry of all products containing nanomaterials would be extremely burdensome and expensive. The impact assessment estimated costs of more than EUR 5 billion in the first year and EUR 2.5 billion annually thereafter. Additionally, that information would not help the consumer or worker. Firstly, because they would not have access to the database anyway, as it would contain confidential information, and secondly because that information would not tell them whether there is a risk in using those products
The issue of nanomaterials is very scientific and to help the general public understand and to correctly interpret any of the content, special attention needs to be paid to the way this is communicated.
The observatory will not result in new data, but will collect the information that is already available on nanomaterials in one place and present it in an easily understandable way.
There may be more information available than many people are aware of and by presenting that information ECHA aims to increase the understanding of nanomaterials.
ECHA is the driving force among regulatory authorities in implementing the EU’s groundbreaking chemicals legislation for the benefit of human health and the environment as well as for innovation and competitiveness.