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September 12, 2013

Better Risk Assessments, Regulation Needed As Nanomaterials Proliferate

The ACTA Group

The September 12, 2013 issue of Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report included comments made by Lynn L. Bergeson during her “Nanomaterials: Global Governance Initiatives” Presentation: “The global growing use of nanomaterials demands a better understanding of risks and sensible governance strategies as businesses confront questions regarding product liability and worker compensation, speakers said at the Chemcon Asia 2013 conference in Seoul. Lynn Bergeson, managing partner at Bergeson & Campbell, a U.S.-based environmental law firm, described the ‘many global initiatives involving diverse aspects of nanoscale materials,’ including growing debates at the UN and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

On the country level, nanomaterial initiatives are aimed at identifying and addressing risks and promoting sensible governance strategies, she said. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are taking an incremental approach to nanomaterials regulation. The EPA is developing significant new use rules (SNUR) for nanomaterials under the Toxic Substances Control Act (123 DEN A-16, 6/26/13).

The business implications of nanotechnology are growing in importance, as insurers and reinsurers are keenly aware of nanotechnology developments and associated risks such as product liability and worker compensation, Bergeson said.”