As the field of nanotechnology and its applications rapidly develop, concerns have been raised about potential health and environmental impacts of nanomaterials (ie. materials having at least one dimension 100 nanometres or less). NICNAS issued a voluntary call to Australian industry to provide information on the uses and quantities of nanomaterials imported or manufactured for industrial purposes, and use in cosmetics and personal care products. The information will enable NICNAS to understand the extent of use of nanomaterials in Australia and will assist in prioritising regulatory efforts to ensure safe introduction of nanomaterials.

NICNAS has been actively working with national and overseas agencies to address issues for nanomaterials. NICNAS worked with DoHA and other government agencies and departments to ensure that there will be a nationally consistent approach to the safety regulation of nanomaterials and was a member of interdepartmental committees providing advice to the National Nanotechnology Taskforce.