European industry group Cefic has expressed frustration with stakeholder dialogue on nanotechnology. Cefic’s executive director of research and innovation complained that "each discussion begins with a rehearsal of old arguments and fails to move debate forward". Instead he called for stakeholder dialogue "to build on previous discussions, and not start from scratch every single time. Stakeholder dialogue should be designed not as an exchange of statements but allowing room for negotiations".
"A new report by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) stated that nanotechnology is causing concern over the risks it poses to workers. Nanoparticles were placed at the top of the list of substances in the report entitled Expert Forecast on Emerging Chemical Risks from which employees need protection.
Reprinted from opinion piece by FoEA’s Georgia Miller in The Age newspaper: "Beauty products don’t have a fantastic record on health over the centuries – think mercury face powders in Ancient Egypt or lead and arsenic face creams popular in the Elizabethan court. Today there is a widespread expectation that regulators will keep high risk ingredients out of cosmetics. Unfortunately, nanotechnology, the ‘science of the small’ is introducing a new generation of high risk cosmetic ingredients whose health effects remain poorly understood and effectively unregulated.
On 24th April the European Parliament plenary adopted the report by Swedish Green MEP Carl Schlyter on the regulatory aspects of nanomaterials (1). He commented: "I am delighted that an overwhelming in Parliament majority backed my criticism of the Commission’s unacceptable ‘wait-and-see’ attitude towards nanomaterials and instead called for a complete overhaul of relevant Community legislation within two years to make nanomaterials safe".
The Age writes that: "Australian unions are demanding urgent regulation of the nanotechnology industry, citing mounting evidence that some tiny particles used in products such as sunscreens and cosmetics could be as harmful as asbestos." The full article is copied below and is available at: http://www.theage.com.au/national/unions-call-for-action-to-oversee-nanotechnology-20090413-a4ts.html