03 Oct 2012

JRC contributions to the second regulatory review for nanomaterials

photo of vials
Vials with representative nanomaterials in the JRC-Ispra repository
© EU, 2012

The European Commission has adopted today the second regulatory review for nanomaterials. Nanotechnology has the potential to create major technological breakthroughs and rekindle economic growth. In recognition of this fact, the Commission presents its plans to improve EU law to ensure its safe use.

As the Commission's in-house science service, the JRC has participated, together with other Commission DGs, in the preparation of the Communication.

The JRC is actively involved in providing scientific support to EU policy making in the field of nanomaterials. Activities focus mainly on facilitating EU-wide harmonisation and standardisation of analytical methods needed to implement EU measures, on providing reference materials and on contributing to the development of improved and harmonised safety assessment methods.

The JRC works on developing and validating methods to detect and identify nanomaterials in consumer products, such as sunscreens, food and food contact materials, as well as on adapting and optimising in-vitro test methods for hazard assessment of nanomaterials, always in close collaboration with research partners. Furthermore, the JRC carries out inter-laboratory studies, maintains a repository of representative samples of nanomaterials for safety testing, and develops reference materials certified at the nanoscale.

In parallel to this research work, the JRC:

  • participates in activities of related working groups, standardisation bodies and committees, including the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
  • participates in OECD committees and working parties in relation to safety assessment of manufactured nanomaterials.
  • coordinates the group of Member States representatives (EU National Coordinators) that decide on testing methods and integrated testing strategies for nanomaterials and other chemicals to be included in the Test Method Regulation (Reg (EC) No 440/2008).

Moreover, the JRC has created and maintains the JRC NANOhub, a comprehensive IT platform dedicated to the management of physico-chemical and toxicological information on nanomaterials.