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New report clarifies concepts and terms of EU nanomaterial definition

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) published a report clarifying key concepts and terms used in the European Commission's nanomaterial definition. The report gives recommendations for a harmonised implementation of the definition in any regulatory context at European Union and national level.

Helsinki, 25 February 2019 – The EU adopted a definition of a nanomaterial in 2011 (Recommendation on the definition of a nanomaterial (2011/696/EU)). Its purpose is to enable a coherent implementation of the definition across different regulations and to ensure that they characterise nanomaterials in the same way. The definition itself is based on particle size, and as such is not aimed at identifying hazardous materials from non-hazardous ones. The definition has already been used in sector-specific EU legislation such as the Biocidal Products Regulation, Medical Devices Regulation and REACH as well as in several EU national schemes.

This is the first of two reports that the JRC is preparing in support of the implementation of the nanomaterial definition. This first report focusses on key concepts as well as general and specific terms and explains them in the context of the nanomaterial definition. The report tackles these terms in a regulatory context, and is aimed to be applicable across all relevant regulations.

The second report addresses measurements and will give specific advice on how to identify materials based on the criteria laid down by the definition, mainly through analytical approaches.

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