The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that the agency is proposing one-time reporting and recordkeeping requirements on nanoscale chemical substances in the marketplace.
“Nanotechnology holds great promise for improving products, from TVs and vehicles to batteries and solar panels,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in a statement. “We want to continue to facilitate the trend toward this important technology.
The action, he said, will ensure that EPA also has information on nano-sized versions of chemicals already in the marketplace.
The media announcement noted that the EPA already reviews new chemical substances manufactured or processed as nanomaterials before they are introduced into the marketplace in an effort to ensure that they are safe. But this is the first time that the EPA has proposed to use authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to collect existing exposure and health and safety information on chemicals currently in the marketplace when manufactured or processed as nanoscale materials.
The proposal will require one-time reporting from companies that manufacture or process chemical substances as nanoscale materials. The companies will notify EPA of:
- Certain information, including specific chemical identity.
- Production volume.
- Methods of manufacture; processing, use, exposure, and release information.
- Available health and safety data.
Nanoscale materials have special properties related to their small size such as greater strength and lighter weight, however, they may take on different properties than their conventionally-sized counterpart.
The proposal is not intended to conclude that nanoscale materials will cause harm to human health or the environment, EPA said. Rather, EPA would use the information gathered to determine if any further action under the TSCA, including additional information collection, is needed.
Proposed reporting requirements are being issued under the authority of section 8(a) under TSCA. The agency is requesting public comment on the proposed reporting and recordkeeping requirements 90 days from publication in the Federal Register. EPA also anticipates holding a public meeting during the comment period. The time and place of the meeting will be announced on EPA’s web page at: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/nano/ Additional information and a fact sheet on the specifics of the proposed rule and what constitutes a nanoscale chemical material can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/nano/
Source: U.S. EPA