From The Dake Page:

In continuing their seemingly new-found enthusiasm for existing authority under the current Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the US EPA is planning to issue a series of rules to better regulate nanomaterials. These materials are made small – very small – compared to other materials with the same chemical composition, and there is concern that they may have different risk profiles than their larger counterparts.

EPA announced in December 2009 as part of its “Action Initiation List” that it is developing a SNUR, shorthand for a “significant new use rule.” SNURs require manufacturers of existing chemicals intended for significant new uses to notify EPA similar to the way they would if it had been a new chemical. The argument is that since nanoscale materials may have very different properties than the existing chemical form that they may result in very different risk. Not a big stretch given that most nanomaterials are designed specifically to impart different properties to the uses in which they are intended.

Another rule (under Section 8 of TSCA) was recently announced by EPA that would require additional reporting of such things as production volume, methods of manufacture and processing, exposure and release information, and available health and safety data. Taken together with the SNUR, these rules would give EPA substantial ability to better regulate nanomaterials.

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