JRC Report 2014

In May 2014 Experts from the European Commission (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC) published a new report which discusses labelling and reporting schemes for nanomaterials in consumer products in the EU.


Currently the EU legislation requires nanomaterials to be reported in the list of ingredients, with "nano" added in brackets after the substance name, for food, cosmetics and biocides. Importantly, this labelling should be understood as risk-independent, as the nanomaterial presence does not automatically imply a risk. In addition, voluntary "nanoclaims" indicating the presence or absence of nanomaterials are sometimes added by manufacturers on different types of consumer products, mainly for marketing reasons.


The European Parliament together with several EU countries have called for more transparency, traceability and information for consumers regarding the use and possible exposure to nanomaterials, by the introduction of registers for products which contain nanomaterials or make use of nanotechnology, and/or by labelling of such products. The JRC states that a product register may give a better overview of the overall application of nanomaterials and potential exposure of humans and the environment. The EC already requires mandatory reporting for cosmetic products containing nanomaterials. Some EU Member States (France, Belgium, and Denmark) have or are introducing mandatory reporting schemes for a wider range of consumer products.


The report emphasizes that "only mandatory reporting/labelling of products containing nanomaterials can assure accurate and comprehensive information. Harmonised procedures are needed to avoid trade barriers and unfair commercial practices." The report states that a claim of the presence (or absence) of nanomaterials in products should be verifiable, and provides an overview of experimental methods available for this purpose.


The press release together with the full report can be accessed at http://ihcp.jrc.ec.europa.eu/our_activities/nanotechnology/traceability-report


Original Publication

Aschberger K., Rauscher H., Rasmussen K., Christensen F., Sokull-Kluettgen B., Stamm H. (2014). Considerations on information needs for nanomaterials in consumer products: Discussion of a labelling and reporting scheme for nanomaterials in consumer products in the EU. Publications Office of the European Union, JRC88931, ISSN: 1831-9424 DOI: 10.2788/3044. (PDF; 2 MB)



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