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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. > OECD Provides Snapshot on Current and Planned Activities on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials

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

Abstract:
As many people know, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is deeply engaged in nanotechnology initiatives. The OECD is an intergovernmental organization that includes 34 member countries, of which the United States is one, and maintains relationships with 70 others.

June 9th, 2011

OECD Provides Snapshot on Current and Planned Activities on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials

As many people know, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is deeply engaged in nanotechnology initiatives. The OECD is an intergovernmental organization that includes 34 member countries, of which the United States is one, and maintains relationships with 70 others. See http://www.oecd.org

Two OECD group activities are relevant to nanoscale materials. In September 2006, OECD established the Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) to assist member countries in addressing the "safety challenges of nanomaterials," according to OECD. Current projects involve a number of "Sector Groups" working on separate projects, including:

- OECD Database on Manufactured Nanomaterials to Inform and Analyse EHS Research Activities;

- Safety Testing of a Representative Set of Manufactured Nanomaterials;

- Manufactured Nanomaterials and Test Guidelines;

- Co-operation on Voluntary Schemes and Regulatory Programmes;

- Co-operation on Risk Assessment;

- The Role of Alternative Methods in Nanotoxicology;

- Exposure Measurement and Exposure Mitigation; and

- Environmentally Sustainable Use of Manufactured Nanomaterials.

In March 2007, OECD created the Committee on Scientific and Technological Policy, which focuses on considering applications of nanotechnologies. The Committee on Scientific and Technological Policy's primary objective is to promote international cooperation that facilitates research, development, and the responsible commercialization of nanotechnology in member countries.

Of note to Nanotech Now readers, on May 26, 2011, OECD posted a document entitled "Current Developments/Activities on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials," which provides information on the outcomes and developments of the OECD WPMN related to the safety of manufactured nanomaterials. OECD states that the document "provides a snapshot of information on current/planned activities related to the safety of manufactured nanomaterials in OECD member countries and other delegations that attended the 8th meeting of OECD's Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (Paris France, 16-18 March 2011)." The document also includes written reports on current activities from other international organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and World Health Organization (WHO).

The document is available at http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/displaydocumentpdf?cote=env/jm/mono(2011)12&doclanguage=en For nano stakeholders, the document is a useful and timely summary of global nano initiatives and a must read.

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