International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies
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International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies

Edited by Graeme A. Hodge, Diana M. Bowman and Andrew D. Maynard

As scientists and technologists discover how to engineer matter at the nanoscale in increasingly sophisticated ways, conventional approaches to ensuring safe use are being brought into question. Nanotechnologies are challenging traditional regulatory regimes; but they are also prompting new thinking on developing and using emerging technologies safely. In this Handbook, leading international authors from industry, government, non-governmental organisations and academia examine the complex and often controversial regulatory challenges presented by nanotechnologies. Across several disciplinary boundaries, they explore how the future regulatory landscape may evolve. From the Europe Union to the United States, workplaces to personal products, and statutory instruments through to softer approaches, it is clear that considerable vigilance will be needed in governing these powerful and novel technologies. To succeed, society will need new thinking, new partnerships and new mechanisms to balance the benefits of these technologies against their possible downsides. Anything less will prompt cries of illegitimacy and potentially compromise a promising new realm of technology innovation.
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Chapter 13: A Good Foundation? Regulatory Oversight of Nanotechnologies Using Cosmetics as a Case Study

Geert van Calster and Diana M. Bowman


Geert van Calster and Diana M. Bowman Whereas nanomaterials are likely to be the next ‘big thing’, especially given that manipulating all matter has been man’s ultimate dream for centuries (Schlyter, 2009: 4). On 24 April 2009 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on regulatory aspects of nanomaterials (European Parliament, 2009), the draft of which included the above quote.1 The resolution within the Parliament was significant for a number of reasons including that the Parliament voted at this time to include nano-specific provisions in cosmetics and food legislation. The resolution includes some important regulatory constraints for the manufacturers, importers and distributors within these two sectors, but in particular for those who have, or are looking to, incorporate engineered nanomaterials in products and place them onto the European Union (EU) market. Most importantly, the text testifies to the increased readiness within the regulatory community to adopt targeted, nano-specific regulation. The extract above also highlights the suspicion which does exist in regulatory quarters, especially in the EU and more particularly among the European Parliament, vis-à-vis not only the ambitions or indeed dreams of the scientific community, but also the way in which its own regulatory bodies regulate those ambitions. This chapter examines the adequacy of the current regulatory framework for cosmetics containing nanomaterials in the EU, with a specific focus on the adequacy of current risk assessment for assessing potential risks posed by nanomaterials. Issues of skin penetration and translocation will also be discussed. The focus of the review is on...

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