Considerations for Gathering/Sharing Additional Nanomaterial Use Information
As noted, the lack of volume information and specific molecular identity limits the usefulness of the information in the Nanomaterials Use Matrix for nanomaterial risk assessments. Relative volume-share information for each nanomaterial is lacking, and therefore the relative importance of each use in risk assessments could either be under- or over-estimated. Volume information would provide an additional level of confidence on the relative use of a nanomaterial in the two countries. The ability to share use information between the two countries could help. This can be done directly by notifiers through Canada’s New Substance Program and the New Chemicals Program in the US.
Since the completion of the RCC Nanotechnology Work Plan, Canada has continued to engage provincial nanotechnology associations and industry experts in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan in order to further broaden our understanding of the Canadian nanomaterials marketplace.
Lastly, another way to analyze the use information would be to further organize it by the technical function a nanomaterial has within a product (e.g., uses organized by function such as magnetism or tensile strength). Such information would help the Canada/US Programs better identify potential uses to inform risk assessment and risk management, and to help in the derivation of environmental concentrations. This type of analysis will be conducted once the Canada/US Programs have a better understanding of nanomaterial functions.
Ongoing Collaborations and Regulatory Alignment: Barriers and Opportunities
A barrier to ongoing collaboration and regulatory alignment identified through this exercise was the ability to share Confidential Business Information (CBI) obtained through Canada’s New Substances Program and the New Chemicals Program in the US. A mechanism could be developed to allow for industry to voluntarily agree to the sharing of CBI from notified nanomaterials between the Canada/US Programs; this could involve a simple “check-box” on notification forms authorizing the sharing of information. This approach will be pursued post-RCC and stakeholders will be kept apprised of progress.
There are many opportunities for ongoing collaboration between Canada and the US to increase our knowledge and our regulatory alignment for nanomaterials. The information gathered through this exercise has resulted in a better understanding of the commercial uses of nanomaterials within the two countries, and will likely be used to inform both the risk assessment and risk management of nanomaterials.
Annex 1 – Nanomaterials Use Matrix 1
1. Inclusion of these use categories in this RCC document is not intended to imply confirmation of such uses or product categories by relevant regulatory agencies with jurisdictions over these product areas.↩
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