Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. > Australia's NICNAS: New Chemicals Processes for Industrial Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson
Managing Director
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Abstract:
Last October, the Australian Chemical Gazette announced that the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) was introducing new administrative processes for the notification and assessment of industrial nanomaterials that are considered to be "new" chemicals. The new administrative provisions were effective on January 1, 2011, and apply to any new chemical that falls under the working definition of "industrial nanomaterial." NICNAS also issued guidance on the notification program. Noted below is a brief background with the new notification program.

May 27th, 2011

Australia's NICNAS: New Chemicals Processes for Industrial Nanomaterials

Last October, the Australian Chemical Gazette announced that the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) was introducing new administrative processes for the notification and assessment of industrial nanomaterials that are considered to be "new" chemicals. The new administrative provisions were effective on January 1, 2011, and apply to any new chemical that falls under the working definition of "industrial nanomaterial." NICNAS also issued guidance on the notification program, which is available at http://www.nicnas.gov.au/Current_issues/Nanotechnology.asp Noted below is a brief background with the new notification program.

Background

The new notification program applies to industrial nanomaterials, defined as follows:

. . . industrial materials intentionally produced, manufactured or engineered to have unique properties or specific composition at the nanoscale, that is a size range typically between 1 [nanometer (nm)] and 100 nm, and is either a nano-object (i.e. that is confined in one, two, or three dimensions at the nanoscale) or is nanostructured (i.e. having an internal or surface structure at the nanoscale).

Several additional terms are defined in the rule as follows:

- Intentionally produced, manufactured, or engineered materials are distinct from accidentally produced materials;

- "Unique properties" refers to chemical and/or physical properties that are different because of their nanoscale features as compared to the same material without nanoscale features, and result in unique phenomena (e.g., increased strength, chemical reactivity or conductivity) that enable novel applications;

- Aggregates and agglomerates are considered to be nanostructured substances; and

- Where size distribution shows ten percent or more of a substance (based on number of particles) is at the nanoscale, NICNAS will consider this substance to be a nanomaterial for risk assessment purposes.

Currently, all regulatory requirements applicable to conventional chemicals also apply to their nano forms. Specific amendments to current processes and practices vary between new chemical exemptions and new chemical certificates and permits. NICNAS may require additional information, on a case-by-case basis, on the nano-specific characteristics of a chemical. NICNAS may also require further additional data such as surface area, impurity profile, and surface properties (such as charge and coatings), on a case-by-case basis. NICNAS also notes that it may stipulate permit conditions for conventional chemical notifications where "it can be reasonably assumed that a nano-form may be introduced in the future." The guidance neglects to note what factors it would assess in determining what additional permit conditions may be needed as a result of these anticipatory nano-forms of conventional substances.

Update

NICNAS prepared a presentation for a program sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources on May 19, 2011. A copy of the presentation is available at http://www2.americanbar.org/calendar/nr1105-nano-governance/Pages/materials.aspx The presentation provides a useful overview of the new provisions and the NICNAS Nanotechnology Strategy.

Compliance activities began in April 2011 to assess the extent to which business is complying with the new provisions. The results of this assessment will inform the ongoing outreach sessions that will assist industry in understanding these changes.

Businesses are encouraged to contact NICNAS to clarify whether the nanomaterials they are introducing are new or existing chemicals, and thus determine whether they must address new obligations under these changes.

NICNAS reports that it is further developing options for notification and assessment of nanoforms of existing chemicals, including the concept of an integrated notification and assessment program for new and existing industrial nanomaterials. This option will be subject to future public consultation.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE





  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE