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Regulation of nanomaterials in Australia


Australia's current regulatory system does not, on the whole, specifically regulate nanomaterials. Recent changes are beginning to address nanoforms of 'new' chemicals, however the specific regulation of nanoforms of 'existing chemicals' is still under consideration. (See 'NICNAS: Regulatory activities in nanomaterials' for definitions of 'new' and 'existing' chemicals.)


The Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) hosts the National Enabling Technologies Strategy (NETS) homepage. NETS supports both the development of the Australian nanotechnology industry and the regulation of nanomaterials and processes to protect human health and safety and the environment.


NICNAS is one of a number of Australian Government agencies involved in the regulation of chemicals, and consequently, of nanomaterials. Other agencies include the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA), the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). For details of the current regulatory system in Australia, see: Chemicals In Australia.


NICNAS's regulates industrial nanomaterials intended for use in research laboratories, in the production of such materials as dyes, paints, epoxies, plastics, glass, textiles and cosmetic ingredients, and in the manufacture of a wide range of products from bicycles to cosmetics to window glass.


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