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Test guidelines for safety testing of nanomaterials

An overview of test guidelines relevant for the safety testing of nanomaterials is now available on the EUON. The list focusses on companies needing to meet updated regulatory requirements under the REACH Regulation.

Helsinki, 8 October 2019  Recent regulatory changes, including changes to the REACH regulation, mean that companies will have to provide more information on the safety of their materials to regulators. In order to help them meet these requirements, a concerted effort is underway to update existing test guidelines for nanomaterials.

The EUON aims to track the current status of these developments and has published a list of test guidelines, or ongoing test guideline developments relevant for the safety testing of nanomaterials under REACH. The guidelines are matched to the most relevant REACH information requirements.

The EUON plans to maintain and update this list, to also include other test guidelines and standards for nanomaterials, including standards relevant for other regulations or uses.

Background

The regulatory safety testing of nanomaterials relies on the use of standardised test guidelines. These guidelines aim to ensure that safety tests are done uniformly across different labs, and deliver relevant and reliable data, regardless of the lab performing the tests. As the science surrounding the safety of nanomaterials has progressed, scientists and regulators have realised that a number of the existing test guidelines for the safety of chemicals require specific modifications for nanomaterials, in order to ensure that the tests address the unique challenges posed by them.

Member States voted to revise the REACH annexes to include nanomaterial-specific information requirements for all nanoforms of the substances that need to be registered. The new requirements apply from 1 January 2020 and will enable companies and authorities to systematically assess the hazardous properties of nanomaterials, how they are used safely, and what risks they may pose to our health and the environment. This information will help authorities in the EU to identify if further risk management measures are needed.

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