ANEC urges EU transparency about nanomaterials

Date

03 Oct 2012

Sections

Health & Consumers

Press release

Ahead of the expected release today of the second regulatory review by the European Commission of the safety of nanomaterials, ANEC repeats its call for a mandatory reporting scheme for nanomaterials used in consumer products. “We call on the Commission to establish a market surveillance instrument that covers nanomaterials used in products available on the European market”, said ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell. ‘All economic operators (producers, importers, and retailers of own branded products) marketing products containing nanomaterials should be required to register in order to ensure transparency of information.”

“We recognise that nanotechnologies have the potential to offer benefits to consumers. For example, they could improve the energy efficiency of appliances”, added Mr Russell. “However, these technologies and the materials used may also present new risks. We are therefore concerned about the increasing number of products containing nanomaterials that are sold on the European market without having been subject to a proper safety assessment1”.

In ANEC’s opinion, it is also of paramount importance for existing European legislation relevant to nanotechnologies to be adapted in order to safeguard consumer health and safety, as well as the environment, through legal safety requirements supported by standardised test methods and other technical specifications.

“We look forward to the regulatory review that will be unveiled today by the Commission, although we were rather disappointed by the last regulatory review as we do not believe present EU legislation is fit to cope with the challenges posed by nanomaterials” concluded Mr Russell.

1 http://www.anec.eu/attachments/nanobrochure.pdf

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ANEC in brief

Raising standards for consumers

ANEC is the European consumer voice in standardisation, defending consumer interests in the processes of technical standardisation and conformity assessment as well as related legislation and public policies. ANEC was established in 1995 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law and represents consumer organisations from 32 European countries. ANEC is funded by the European Union and EFTA, with national consumer organisations contributing in kind. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels.

More information: www.anec.eu