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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)


Report Title: Characterising the Potential Risks posed by Engineered Nanoparticles: A Second UK Government Research Report
Report ID: 473
Date: 12/1/2007
Report Type: Research Report
URL: [nanoparticles-riskreport07.pdf]
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Summary: In October 2005, the UK Government published the first research report in this two-part series, which described 19 environmental, health, and safety research objectives for the Nanotechnology Research Co-ordination Group (NRCG) to carry forward with. Following in October 2006 was a progress report; this report builds on the 2006 report to provide an update on the NRCG's objectives and progress on the nanotech action plans. The NRCG set up five task forces for driving nanotechnology research: Metrology, Characterization, Standardization, and Reference Materials; Exposures: Sources, Pathways, and Technologies; Human Health Hazard and Risk Assessment; Environmental Hazard and Risk Assessment; and Social and Economic Dimensions of Nanotechnologies. While significant progress has been made in all areas, research programs are in their infancy. The UK Government has been encouraging the UK research community to participate in the EU's 7th Framework Programme. The report recommends that joint work and international collaboration be continued, and that completed research studies should be more closely reviewed to ascertain what level of risk nanomaterials pose.
Archived Copy: nanoparticles-riskreport07_473_7336.pdf



Report Title: Characterising the Potential Risks Posed by Engineered Nanoparticles
Report ID: 472
Date: 10/1/2006
Report Type: Research Report
URL: [nanoparticles-progressreport.pdf]
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Summary: This progress report analyzes the Nanotechnology Research Co-ordination Group (NRCG)'s progress on the 19 research objectives enumerated in the NRCG's first research report (published in November 2005). The objectives have been categorized into five Task Forces: Metrology, Characterization, Standardization, and Reference Materials; Exposures: Sources, Pathways, and Technologies; Human Health Hazard and Risk Assessment; Environmental Hazard and Risk Assessment; and Social and Economic Dimensions of Nanotechnologies. This report lists the progress in each area, along with the status of the study and its budget. For metrology and standardization, progress is being made but there are still no good methods for detecting, characterizing, and quantifying carbon nanotubes except for slow and expensive electron microscopy. While studies are ongoing in the area of human health hazard, there is still large uncertainty regarding the sources of engineered nanoscale materials and potential releases during the product life-cycle. It is expected that in vivo toxicology on animals will yield reliable results in showing the acute and chronic effects of short term and long term exposure to nanoparticles. The report also makes scientific recommendations for areas where additional study is needed.
Archived Copy: nanoparticles-progressreport_472_2398.pdf



Report Title: A Scoping Study Into the Manufacture and Use of Nanomaterials in the Uk
Report ID: 471
Date: 7/1/2005
Report Type: Study
URL: [nano-manufacture.pdf]
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Summary: This scoping study was carried out in accordance to the UK Government's response (see report ID 188) to the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering’s review (see report ID 446) of nanotechnology. Currently (as of 2005), there is no UK regulatory framework that specifically addresses the production and application of nanomaterials. As a result, companies involving in nanomaterial production and use are not required to share information, including the presence of nanomaterials in their products. The study strongly recommends that a nanomaterial register be created either through a voluntary industry initiative or through the government. Such a register would enable access to up-to-date data on new materials until sufficient safety information has been developed. UK nanomaterial production also does not match global manufacturing. While globally there is an emphasis on nanotubes and fibers, the UK manufactures mostly nano-metals and metal oxides. The data from this study has been placed in a database and is publicly accessible.
Archived Copy: nano-manufacture_471_2823.pdf



Report Title: A Scoping Study to Identify Gaps in Environmental Regulation for the Products and Applications of Nanotechnologies
Report ID: 467
Date: 3/1/2006
Author: Central Science Laboratory
Report Type: Study
URL: [Document.aspx]
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Summary: This study examined whether existing regulatory frameworks are suitable for managing nanotechnology-related processes. The research team identified and assessed legislation relevant to nanotechnology, as well as applications for nanomaterials. A number of regulatory gaps were found, including in definitions which called nanotechnologies a "new manufacturing process for producing materials used in existing products and applications." The usage of the words "new" and "existing" may create a regulatory gap. The study also found that most legislation addressed consumer safety rather than environmental safety, and certain nanomaterials were likely to fall below minimum reporting requirements (such as the tonnage requirements of the EU's REACH legislation). Fixing these regulatory gaps will require a substantial body of work, and a scientific consensus must be reached on categorizing nanomaterials into new versus existing substance definitions. The study also recommends that its findings be reviewed and updated as additional information about nanomaterials becomes known.
Archived Copy: CB01075_3484_FRP_467_3356.doc



Report Title: Nanotechnology Research Coordination Group (NRCG) Note of the 17th Meeting
Report ID: 442
Date: 1/12/2009
Report Type: Meeting Notes
URL: [nrcg-meeting17-090112.pdf]
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Summary: The Nanotechnology Research Coordination Group (NRCG), chaired by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), coordinates research into the potential risks of nanotechnology. In its 17th meeting of January 12, 2009, representatives from government departments, regulatory agencies, and research councils met to receive updates on Task Force Action Plans and from the councils. Research calls are planned for developing conceptual models and predictive tools of environmental exposure, as well as adaptation or development of risk assessment methodologies for nanoparticle exposure. In the area of food safety, a project is underway to examine the application of nanomaterials as food ingredients and to consider gaps in knowledge and regulations. An overview of the Institute of Medicine's EMERGNANO project was presented; the project aims to present a picture of completed and near completed work looking at the environmental health and safety concerns that nanomaterials pose. Task Force Leaders generally agreed with the project's report, and that the report should be used to review the NRCG's objectives and structure.
Archived Copy: nrcg-meeting17-090112_442_2361.pdf



Report Title: Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances Report on Nanosilver
Report ID: 405
Date: 10/26/2009
Author: Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances
Report Type: Advisory Report
URL: [achs-report-nanosilver.pdf]
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Summary: At its 32nd meeting in March 2009 Defra requested guidance on nanosilver from the Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances. Specifically, they wanted information regarding the environmental exposure and effects of nanoparticulate silver, known or predicted environmental exposure levels and their corresponding risks, the nature of appropriate measures to minimize risks, and what action should be taken to further develop understanding in this area. However, the disparate nature of data regarding the (eco)toxicology of nanosilver made investigation of the third criteria impossible. Furthermore, exposure levels in the environment are not known since modeled concentrations vary widely. The Committee concludes that further research is needed and should culminate in a workshop with relevant stakeholders to develop a coherent and integrated research strategy and medium term horizon scanning. As a long term goal, the Committee recommends that relevant government departments work with other funders to address several specific areas outlined in the report. For now, the immediate research objective should be identification and inventory of uses and products containing nanosilver, amounts within products, and their likely release rates.
Archived Copy: uk achs-report-nanosilver_405_8498.pdf



Report Title: Defra Consultation on a Voluntary Reporting Scheme for Engineered Nanoscale Materials
Report ID: 231
Date: 9/1/2006
Author: David Lovell
Report Type: General Report
URL: [defra_nanotechvrs-consultfindings_en.pdf]
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Summary: On the 31 March 2006, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published a consultation seeking views on a proposal for a “Voluntary Reporting Scheme” for engineered nanoscale materials. The purpose of the Voluntary Reporting Scheme, alongside a Government program of scientific research, is to develop a better understanding of the properties and characteristics of different engineered nanoscale materials, so enabling potential hazard, exposure and risk to be considered. The building of an evidence base in this way will allow for a more informed debate about the nature of appropriate controls. This paper summarizes and responds to the findings of this consultation.

Archived Copy: defra_nanotechvrs-consultfindings_en_231_5452.pdf



Report Title: An Assessment of Regulatory Testing Strategies and Methods for Characterising the Ecotoxicological Hazards of Nanomaterials CBO1097
Report ID: 198
Date: 10/30/2007
Author: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Report Type: Research Project Description
URL: [Default.aspx]
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Summary: This document is a description of a completed (12/2006 - 7/2007) DEFRA research project. The objectives of the project include a) a description of the current test strategies and methods for chemical regulatory ecohazard assessment; b) a critical review of studies which have characterized nanomaterial hazards; c) an identification of elements of test strategies and methods that are not fit for purpose; d) a proposal for pragmatic variants on current tests; and e) a proposal for an experimental approach to empirically test proposed variants on the hypothesis that they may be fit for purpose. The project is intended to lay groundwork for a successive phase of work. The document includes descriptions of tasks detailing how the researcher can successfully complete the objectives. Links to the final report and a final expanded report are included, as are the cost of the project, the funded organization/contractor, keywords, associated fields of study, and a contact email address.
Archived Copy: defra an assessment of regulatory testing._198_6023.pdf



Report Title: UK Voluntary Reporting Scheme for engineered nanoscale materials
Report ID: 97
Date: 2/1/2008
Report Type: Guidance Document
URL: [url]
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Summary: The UK's Voluntary Reporting Scheme operated from September 2006 to September 2008 and collected information from any entity involved in the manufacture or use of engineered nanoscale materials. This voluntary government scheme sought to assist the UK government in developing new nanotechnology controls that will prevent risks to human health and the environment. This document describes the operation of the scheme, its administration, and the types of data to be collected. It explains how collected data will be used and how elements of the scheme will be reviewed as necessary in order to meet government objectives.



 
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