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Nanotechnology - Your Online Guide

What is NICNAS doing in Nanomaterials? 

Nanomaterials, when used as industrial chemicals, fall within the remit of NICNAS. NICNAS is engaging with the National Nanotechnology Strategy via a cross-portfolio working group on health, safety and environment (HSE) issues, and is examining nanotechnology to determine if and how NICNAS needs to adapt its legislation and processes to ensure the safe and sustainable use of industrial chemicals that contain nanomaterials.

 

To this end, NICNAS is engaged in such activities as:

  • Determining the volumes, types and data holdings of nanomaterials that are being used within Australia as industrial chemicals via a voluntary call for information directed to industry and researchers. The call is now open and it closes on 23 January 2009 - see the October Chemical Gazette;
     

  • Keeping abreast of, and influencing, international developments in nanomaterials by active participation in the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials;
     

  • Creation of a NICNAS Nanotechnology Advisory Group to advise on strategic directions NICNAS might take in addressing the potential impacts of nanomaterials as industrial chemicals;
     

  • Determining if NICNAS legislation and associated regulations are adequate to managing any HSE challenges that nanomaterials might pose;
     

  • The government released an independent report examining the ability of Australia's regulatory frameworks to respond to the introduction of nanotechnology products on 11 July 2008. At the same time, the Government issued the "Australian Government Approach to the Responsible Development of Nanotechnology". These documents and a media release can be found on the Ministers for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Australian Government website; and
     

  • On-going reform of its chemicals programs to ensure they remain at the forefront of international best practice and are readily adaptable to emerging challenges in industrial chemicals regulation, including the challenge of nanotechnology. A public consultation process is currently underway to 12 February 2010.

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