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Monday, May 22, 2023News

Nanomaterials: Anses calls for a more protective definition

Nanomatériaux : l’Anses plaide pour une définition plus protectrice

In an expert report published on 17 May 2023, the French National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) calls on the French authorities to take into account a more comprehensive definition of nanomaterials and to work towards its integration into the revision of the sectoral Regulations at European level. It states the European Commission’s definition published on 10 June 2022 is too restrictive and could lead to a regression in terms of protection of populations and the environment.

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The Anses has three main criticisms of the Commission Recommendation of 10 June 2022 on the definition of nanomaterial: • The amendments adopted by the European Commission would tend to restrict the number and nature of objects that will ultimately be considered as nanomaterials: applied as it stands, this definition will lead, for example, to the omission of nanometric objects that are currently attracting a great deal of interest and development, such as micellar-type nanovectors (vesicles, liposomes, lipid particles, etc.), which are designed to transport substances of interest in medicine, cosmetics, nutrition or agriculture
• While the aim of this new definition was to clarify what nanomaterials are, it ultimately adds confusion with new concepts that pave the way for differences in interpretation, e.g. the “solid state” or the “identifiable” character of a nano-object
• This new Recommendation for a definition would be less comprehensive and flexible than the previous one: for the Anses, it would thus represent a step backwards in terms of prevention of health and environmental risks linked to nanomaterials

The Anses’ recommendations

At European level
The Agency recommends giving the broadest possible definition of nanomaterials based solely on dimensional criteria. It also recommends that they …

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