On January 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a reporting and recordkeeping rule into the Federal Register of the United States. The rule, as defined in its paragraph 8(a) TSCA – takes effect 120 days after this publication.
The new rule mandates reporting to the EPA by the following companies:
- Companies that plan to manufacture or process nanomaterials
- Companies that already manufacture or import nanomaterials
Manufacturers, importers, or processors must electronically supply information to the EPA one time about the (planned) volume of production and the manufacturing process. Companies that are newly producing nanomaterials and that wish to market them, must notify the EPA 135 days before the intended start of production.
As defined by the EPA, nanomaterials are solid particles or collections of particles with dimensions at the nanoscale – approximately 1-100 nanometers (nm). As a comparison, consider that human hair has an average width of 80,000–100,000 nanometers. The rule applies only to substances whose nanoforms display different properties than the traditional forms. The rule does not apply to substances that contain only 1% (by weight) of nanomaterials.
Europe does not have a similar reporting rule. The EU Commission has rejected the setup of a nanoregister. Instead, the ECHA operates nano-observatory sites that collate existing information. A good overview of nanomaterials can be found in the response given by the government to a parliamentary inquiry (German only) on the transparency of nanomaterials on the German market.
Are you involved in the manufacture of nanosubstances or do you deal with nanomaterials? Ensure that you have free access to the market for your products and that your products are compliant. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.