The Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized a long-awaited data collection rule for commercial nanoscale materials.
The regulation requires manufacturers of certain new and existing nanomaterials to report data that includes chemical identity, manufacturing methods, production volume, and available health and safety information. The one-time reporting rule applies to commercial materials with dimensions approximately 1-100 nanometers at any production volume.
The agency met resistance from industry groups and environmental advocates when it proposed the reporting rule in April 2015. But EPA received nods from both for the new final rule, which the agency issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The rule is not meant “to conclude that nanoscale materials will to cause harm to human health or the environment,” EPA says. The agency says effort will help it decide if it needs more data bout nanoscale materials for risk reviews under TSCA.
“This basic rule has been a very long time coming,” says Richard Denison, a lead senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group. “EPA can at last begin to get basic risk-relevant information needed to make sound decisions about which materials and uses present concerns and which do not.”
The final rule addressed some industry concerns about standardized terminology and material characterization approaches, says Jay West, senior director of chemical products and technology at the American Chemistry Council, a chemical manufacturers’ trade group.
ACC’s Nanotechnology Panel, led by West, is working on a list of topics related to the final rule that manufacturers of nanomaterials believe require further clarification from EPA.