MEPs deplore the absence of a proper evaluation of the de facto application of the general provisions of Community law in the light of the actual nature of nanomaterials.
Parliament says nanomaterials on the other hand potentially present significant new risks due to their minute size, such as increased reactivity and mobility, possibly leading to increased toxicity in combination with unrestricted access to the human body, and possibly involving quite different mechanisms of interference with the physiology of human and environmental species.
The use of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies promises important advances with multiple benefits in innumerable applications for consumers, patients and the environment, as nanomaterials can provide different or new properties compared to the same substance or material in normal form.
The House calls specifically on the Commission to evaluate the need to review REACH concerning inter alia:
– simplified registration for nanomaterials manufactured or imported below one tonne,
– consideration of all nanomaterials as new substances,
– a chemical safety report with exposure assessment for all registered nanomaterials,
– notification requirements for all nanomaterials placed on the market on their own, in preparations or in articles.
MEPs also call specifically on the Commission to evaluate the need to review worker protection legislation concerning inter alia:
– the use of nanomaterials only in closed systems or in other ways that exclude exposure of workers as long as it is not possible to reliably detect and control exposure,
– a clear assignment of liability to producers and employers arising from the use of nanomaterials,
– whether all exposure routes (inhalation, dermal and other) are addressed.
Parliament reiterates its call for the provision of information to consumers on the use of nanomaterials in consumer products: all ingredients present in the form of nanomaterials in substances, mixtures or articles should be clearly indicated in the labelling of the product (e.g. in the list of ingredients, the name of such ingredients should be followed by the word 'nano' in brackets)
MEPs call for the urgent development of adequate testing protocols and metrology standards to assess the hazard of, and exposure of workers, consumers and the environment to, nanomaterials over their entire life cycle, including in the case of accidents, using a multi-disciplinary approach.
The report was adopted with 391 votes in favour, 3 against and 4 abstentions.