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The Swedish Chemicals Agency proposes reporting requirements for nanomaterials

News 12/1/2015

The Swedish Chemicals Agency proposes that companies should have a duty to report if chemical products contain nanomaterials. The aim of this proposal is to improve knowledge about which nanomaterials there are on the Swedish market.

“Research has shown that nanomaterials might pose a threat to health and the environment, but there is currently insufficient knowledge in this area. Reporting requirements would enable us to obtain more information on the quantities and types of nanomaterials used in Sweden,” says Victor Björkgren, Scientific Officer at the Swedish Chemicals Agency and Project Manager for the government assignment on nanomaterials.

There has been a long-standing requirement in Sweden for companies to register the content of their chemical products to the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s Products Register, but no special mention of nanomaterials has been required. The Swedish Chemicals Agency’s proposal, which is being submitted to the government today, means that companies reporting products to the Products Register must also state whether these products contain nanomaterials.

“By having reporting requirements for nanomaterials, we will be well prepared should new research show that there are problems with nanomaterials of which we are not aware at present. The information compiled in the Products Register would give us a good basis on which to make changes to legislation or take other measures in the future, if these are needed,” says Victor Björkgren.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency proposes that companies with a turnover of less than SEK 5 million per year should be exempted from the reporting requirement during a period of evaluation. These companies should only need to tick a box if they believe that their products contain nanomaterials. During the period of evaluation, the same exemption should also apply to nanomaterials in the form of pigment.

In January 2015 the Swedish Chemicals Agency was assigned by the government to investigate a way of formulating the reporting requirement to provide information on nanomaterials in chemical products and articles. The response being provided to the government today also includes proposals for statutory changes, an impact assessment and an analysis of the EU legislation. Several other EU countries have already introduced or are planning to introduce their own solutions for gathering information on nanomaterials. The European Commission is also investigating a possible common register within the EU.

Read the full report (In Swedish, summary in English on page 8)

For further information, please contact:

Victor Björkgren, Project Manager, +46 8 519 41 190, +46 76 504 11 90

Björn Malmström, Press Officer, +46 8-519 41 338, +46 76 504 13 38

When emailing Swedish Chemicals Agency staff, please use the following format: firstname.surname@kemi.se

Fact: Nanomaterials are minute

Nanomaterials are minute materials which are only a few atoms in size. They are produced in order to make use of their special properties, such as electrical, optical and mechanical properties. Nanomaterials are used in products such as paints, cosmetics and electronic goods.

Their extremely tiny size means that a substance may assume completely different properties in nano size to those in its normal size. Nanomaterials can enter, spread and affect both the body and the environment in other ways than do substances of normal size.