World's First Mandatory National Nanotech Rule Pending

    Canadian officials plan to require quantity, usage and toxicity data

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Canadian government
reportedly is planning to release in February the world's first national
regulation requiring companies to detail their use of engineered
nanomaterials, according to environmental officials. The information gathered
under the requirement will be used to evaluate the risks of engineered
nanomaterials and will help to develop appropriate safety measures to protect
human health and the environment.

    Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) experts have been urging
increased oversight of nanotechnologies in recent years, and note the move by
the Canadian government is a significant step for consumer and environmental

    "Nanotechnology is developing rapidly. People and the environment are
being increasingly exposed to new nanomaterials. Yet governments lack
information on the type, quantity and possible risks of nanoscale materials
being manufactured and used in products today.  This is information that is
vital to ensuring the safe use of nanotechnology," according to Andrew
Maynard, chief science advisor for PEN.

    Canada's action comes shortly after the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) issued an interim report on its Nanoscale Materials Stewardship
Program, a voluntary information submission program that has received limited
industry participation. The EPA report notes the lack of data the program
garnered and says the agency will consider how best to use the federal Toxic
Substances Control Act (TSCA) to gather more risk data. Previous studies by
PEN experts have concluded that TSCA is "extremely deficient," and that EPA
has not effectively used the tools it has under that law to address
nanotechnology, keeping the agency from identifying which substances are
nanomaterials and whether they pose a hazard.

    PEN reports EPA and Nanotechnology: Oversight for the 21st Century and
Nanotechnology Oversight: An Agenda for the New Administration highlight
specific actions that can be taken under TSCA to obtain crucial information on
nanotechnology's risks. Both reports are available online at:

    The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies is an initiative launched by the
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts
in 2005. It is dedicated to helping business, government and the public
anticipate and manage possible health and environmental implications of
nanotechnology. For more information about the project, log on to


For further information:

For further information: Colin Finan of the Project on Emerging
Nanotechnologies, +1-202-691-4321, +1-202-841-5605 (mobile), Web Site:

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