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EU observatory for nanomaterials launched

ECHA publishes a new website that gives citizens, workers and professionals access to information on nanomaterials on the EU market in 23 languages.  It is the first phase of the EU Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON).

The EUON offers a unique web-based information point with factual and neutral content about nanomaterials on the EU market. The observatory is targeted at a wide audience including consumers, workers, regulators and scientists.

On the website, you can read about what nanomaterials are and where they are used. Information on health and safety issues, research, regulatory and international activities are also part of the EUON’s first phase.

"With the EUON, we aim to create a reliable source of information on nanomaterials. They are used in many every day products and it is therefore important that workers and consumers in the EU have access to objective and easily understandable information on nanomaterials," says Geert Dancet, Executive Director of ECHA.

Nanomaterials are regulated by the same EU legislation as any other chemical substance. Depending on how they are used, nanoform substances are managed under many regulatory regimes by different EU authorities.

The potential hazards and risks resulting from the use of nanomaterials have to be assessed case-by-case as for any other chemical. However, more safety information is still needed for many of the most commonly used nanomaterials. As all substances under REACH, the burden of proof is on the industry putting nanomaterials on the market as a substance, part of a mixture or an article.

The observatory will be further developed in the coming years with new content to meet the audiences’ needs. The EUON will also carry out studies and make use of external databases and publications.

Background information

Hosting the European Union Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) is a new task for ECHA based on a formal delegation agreement between ECHA and the European Commission signed at the end of 2016. The agreement covers the period until 2020. The Commission concluded last year that the observatory is the most efficient and proportionate measure to increase transparency and availability of information regarding nanomaterials.

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