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Public Health (09-12-2010)

Opinion on the scientific basis for a definition of the term "nanomaterial"

Today, the Commission's independent Scientific Committee for Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) adopted its opinion on the scientific basis for a definition of the term 'nanomaterial'. Since the use of nanotechnologies is increasing, it is clear that a common approach to defining the term 'nanomaterial' in different EU legislative areas is needed. This was the basis of the request to the SCENIHR.

The key messages of the Scientific Opinion are that the definition of a nanomaterial should be based on its size, not on its properties, and that there is no scientific justification for preferring any specific size limit to any other in the range from 1 to 1000 nanometers.

The Opinion can be found here:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/emerging/docs/scenihr_o_032.pdf