Nano definition too narrow says EEB


[October 18th, Brussels] - The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is deeply disappointed by the European Commission’s decision released today to use a narrow definition for the term “nanomaterial”, indicating that industry lobbying has won over the Commission’s own scientific advisors [1]. EEB did however welcome the fact that a recommendation was adopted and hopes this will clear the way for the EU to actually start regulating on this.

“Definition is an important first step but does nothing to allow a robust assessment to be made about their safety, let alone take measures to control risks. If the Commission will take as long to do this as they did to develop the definition, more member states will develop their own initiatives as France already did, leading to even more uncertainty for industry and consumers” said Louise Duprez, Nanotechnology policy officer at EEB.

It is completely unclear from the Commission’s publication how the threshold was multiplied by 50 from the original 1% when scientists had in fact called for a 0.15% threshold [2].

EEB had called upon the Commission to stick to a 1% threshold of the particle number size distribution as a way to put under scrutiny, certain materials, which may exhibit nano specific hazardous properties in the larger size range [3].


Louise Duprez, EEB Nanotechnology policy officer,, +32 (0) 2 289 13 07

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