The European Commission has launched a public consultation on a definition of the term 'nanomaterial'. The growing use of nanomaterials in consumer products and technological applications has led to the need for a definition of the term for regulatory purposes. A request for a "comprehensive science-based definition" was made by the European Parliament in April 2009. The definition should determine when a material should be considered as a nanomaterial for legislative and policy purposes in the European Union. The Commission invites stakeholders including the general public to put forward their views. The public consultation will run until 19 November.
In July 2010, the JRC published a reference report entitled "Considerations on a definition of nanomaterial for regulatory purposes". The report discusses possible elements of a definition aiming at reducing ambiguity and confusion for regulators, industry and the general public. It recommends that the specific term “particulate nanomaterial” should be employed in legislation to avoid inconsistencies with other definitions and that size should be used as the only defining property.
Source: European Commission - Joint Research Centre