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10 November 2011

European Commission Recommendation on the definition of nanomaterial

On 18 October 2011, the European Commission adopted the Recommendation on the definition of nanomaterial.
According to this Recommendation:
"Nanomaterial" means a natural, incidental or manufactured material containing particles, in an unbound state or as an aggregate or as an agglomerate and where, for 50% or more of the particles in the number size distribution, one or more external dimensions is in the size range 1 nm - 100 nm.
In specific cases and where warranted by concerns for the environment, health, safety or competitiveness the number size distribution threshold of 50% may be replaced by a threshold between 1 and 50%.
By derogation from the above, fullerenes, graphene flakes and single wall carbon nanotubes with one or more external dimensions below 1 nm should be considered as nanomaterials.”
Hundreds of products containing nanomaterials are already in use, including in workplaces. Examples are paints, coatings, lubricants, catalysts, construction materials, electronic equipment, automotive applications, anti-bacterial clothing, batteries, detergents, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and medical applications, etc. The market for nanomaterials is expected to grow to hundreds of billions of Euros by 2015. While nanomaterials have the potential to improve the quality of life and to contribute to industrial competitiveness in Europe, these materials may also pose risks to the environment and raise health and safety concerns.

 Source : EU-OSHA
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