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Nanomaterials: Case by case safety approach for breakthrough technology

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Nanotechnology is delivering major advances today and also has the potential to allow “game changing” technological breakthroughs and rekindle economic growth. Today a Communication on the Second Regulatory Review on Nanomaterials was adopted, which also includes the Commission’s plans to improve EU law to ensure the safe use of nanomaterials.

The Communication underlines nanomaterials' diverse nature and types, ranging from everyday materials that have been used safely for decades (e.g., in tyres or as anticoagulants in food) to highly sophisticated industrial materials and tumour therapies. There is an increasing body of information on the hazard properties of nanomaterials, which are difficult to generalize and justify specific risk assessments.

Therefore, rather than putting all nanomaterials in one basket, a case-by-case approach to risk assessment should be applied, using strategies based on indications of potential risks, either in terms of exposure or hazard. Today's communication was jointly presented by European Commissioners Antonio Tajani, Janez Potocnik, John Dalli, and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

More information on the nanomaterial review can be found on our website.

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