NGOs had hoped that the recent Second International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) which took place in Geneva would support urgent action to curb the new toxicity risks associated with nanomaterials. Last year’s International Forum on Chemical Safety backed a strongly precautionary approach to handling nano risks and emphasised the importance of affected people being involved in decision making. However despite that encouraging precedent, NGOs were extremely disappointed at the outcomes of the ICCM meeting, which failed to back tough action to protect people and the environment from nano risks, and failed to advocate strongly for marginalised groups.

A media release from some of the NGOs attending the conference is copied below.

NGOs Disappointed at Nano Outcome of International Conference on Chemical Management (ICCM2)

Geneva, May 15 2009

Delegates from countries, industries and non government organizations met in Geneva this week to address chemical management under the banner of the Strategic Approach to Chemical Management. Delegates considered a number of emerging issues including nanotechnology. “The actions on nanotechnology that were agreed upon today do not reflect the urgency of the issue. The delegates were made aware that nanomaterials are an intergenerational risk, with nanoparticles being passed from mother to child via maternal blood. Yet these risks appear to have been ignored in the response by ICCM2,” said Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN CoChair. “We are long way from the statement that was adopted less than a year ago at the meeting organized by the International Forum on Chemical Safety in Dakar,