January 28th, 2008 07:28 EST
Nanoscale Materials Set EPA on Massive Quest
(Washington, D.C. – January 28, 2008) What are the human health and environmental risks and benefits of nanoscale chemical products? That's what EPA wants to find out with its just-announced Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP). Engineered nanoscale materials range in size from 1-100 nanometers (nm), and may have very different properties than the same materials at a larger scale.
"This program will help strengthen the scientific understanding of nanoscale materials and allow the EPA to more quickly assemble the information needed to ensure appropriate oversight of the products of this promising technology," said Jim Gulliford, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. "Participation in this program can help assure the responsible development, use, and acceptance of these materials in the marketplace."
The program calls on manufacturers, importers, processors, and users of engineered nanoscale materials to report to EPA key information about these materials within six months. The agency will evaluate the information to help ensure the safe manufacture and use of these nanoscale materials.
EPA will also work with manufacturers, importers, processors and users of nanoscale materials to develop test data to provide a scientific basis for assessing the hazards, exposures, and risks of nanoscale materials. The NMSP will complement and support EPA's new and existing chemical programs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The NMSP includes, but is not limited to, existing chemical nanoscale materials manufactured or imported for commercial purposes as defined by TSCA. EPA encourages manufacturers and importers of new chemical nanoscale materials, which are subject to TSCA reporting requirements prior to manufacture, as well as researchers to consider reporting under the NMSP. The NMSP will help provide a firmer, scientific foundation for regulatory decisions by encouraging the development of key scientific information and use of risk management practices in developing and commercializing nanoscale materials.
Information on NMSP: http://epa.gov/oppt/nano/stewardship.htm
For more information under the Nanotechnology under the Toxic Substances Control Act: http://epa.gov/oppt/nano