Nanotechnology

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 20th March 2013.

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Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Chair, Conservative Party 1922 Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make representations to the International Standards Organisation's Nanotechnologies Committee to report on an early day; and if he will ask the group to consider whether a common standard for particle size in regulating (a) nanotechnologies and (b) air pollution would be appropriate.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We have no plans to approach the International Standards Organisation's Nanotechnologies Committee on the issue of applying a common particle size for regulatory purposes. This is because a number of studies have concluded that while the categorisation ‘nanomaterial’ relates to the particle size, the behaviour and effects of nanomaterials are determined by a range of properties. The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation on the Definition of a Nanomaterial (2011/696/EU), which is being applied in EU legislation where appropriate and will be reviewed and adapted in future as necessary. Particle size is already defined in the Ambient Air Quality Directive and associated guidance for the purposes of air pollution control, for particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) and particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5).

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