German government amends European nanomaterial chemical regulations

Germany’s Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and the Federal Environmental Agency have proposed changes to the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) regulation to account for advances in the nanomaterial industry. The agencies called for registration of any nanoscale forms of a chemical substance to take into account specific parameters like morphological properties, water solubility and surface characteristics. Nanomaterials exhibit modified chemical and physical properties compared to conventional chemicals, but these differences aren’t accounted for in the current REACH regulation. According the report, “The information that must be provided by the manufacturer or importer as part of the registration process does not address specific additional features of nanomaterials, fibers and powders.” The recommendation will be reviewed for possible modification in December 2014.