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Nanotechnology and the Environmental: Will Emerging Environmental Regulatory Programs Stifle the Promise?

M.C. Kalpin and M.A. Hoffer
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, US

environment, environmental regulation, nanomaterials, United States, TSCA, European Union, REACH, precautionary principle

This paper discusses and contrasts the environmental regulatory programs that are emerging in the United States and the European Union with respect to nanomaterials and nanoproducts, and provides recommendations for addressing potential inconsistencies that may stifle the development and distribution of those materials and products. The emerging United States program, which likely will be based on the existing Toxic Substances Control Act, has requirements that are well known and do not require an absolute showing of product safety. In contrast, the emerging regulatory program in the European Union appears to be based on the Precautionary Principle and the development REACH Program -- both which could require absolute showings of product safety and significantly slow the development and use of nanomaterials and nanoparticles.

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