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Public Health (21-04-2009)

Scientific Hearing on Nanotechnology: Launch of Public Consultation

Nanotechnologies are expected to bring benefits to many areas by interacting with and reinforcing the potential of other technologies. At nano scale, matter shows different properties, making it difficult to predict potential adverse impact on health and the environment. As a result, the European Commission has developed a policy for their safe, integrated and responsible development. This involves continuously monitoring developments in nanotechnologies by using the independent EU Scientific Committees to contribute to the assessment of health and environmental risks that they may pose. Opinions reached by these Scientific Committees contribute to current discussions on nanomaterials in the EU legislative proposals relating to novel foods and cosmetics as well as for the implementation of existing legislation such as REACH.
In recognition of the importance of the issue of safety of nanotechnologies, the Commission is organising a one-day scientific hearing, which will take place on 10 September 2009 in Brussels. The hearing will focus on the scientific aspects of the issues covered in the SCENIHR (Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks) opinions related to Nanotechnology.
In order to prepare for this hearing, the Commission is launching a public consultation with three main objectives:
  • identification of any possible topics which have not been covered in the opinions from the relevant EU Risk Assessment Committees and Bodies;
  • identification of what are, according to current scientific knowledge, the main potential risks that could emerge from the use of nanomaterials in the future; and
  • identification of the issues to be discussed at the hearing, including provision of background information and comments on those issues.
The outcome of the consultation will be presented at the Scientific Hearing in September.
The deadline for the submission of comments is 19 June 2009.
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