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06 December 2012 IoN

EU Database of Consumer Products Launched in Denmark

The Nanodatabase
The Nanodatabase.
Image Credit: Copyright (c) 2012 nano.taenk.dk.

The Danish Consumer Council and the Danish Ecological Council (in partnership with the Danish Technological University) have published an online database listing more than 1,200 consumer products available in the EU and purported to contain nanomaterials.

The database goes one step further than that of PEN (www.nanotechproject.org/inventories/consumer/), and BEUC/ANEC (www.beuc.org/Content/Default.asp?PageID=2142) in providing a traffic light indicator of potential risk to human health and the environment. Products are assessed according to system published in 2011 (NanoRiskCat), which uses knowledge of the physical structure of the material (nano and bulk form), and any information on exposure and hazard.

While this database is to be welcomed as another step towards transparency on the potential benefits and risks of nanomaterials, it must be considered objectively; as 810 of the products registered contain ‘unknown’ nanomaterials, which prevents proper risk assessment. ‘Nano’ labelling of consumer products will remain a contentious issue, as there are several materials with known risks as well as several that are known to be as safe as bulk materials, plus many materials for which the potential risks are unknown. Projects such as NanoSustain (www.nanosustain.eu) and NanoValid (www.nanovalid.eu), in which IoN is participating, will assist in filling such knowledge gaps, and in time will make initiatives such as the Danish database more robust.

Source: IoN /...

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