Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Does REACH Go Too Far?

Bowman, Diana M.

Journal Information:
Nature Nanotechnology
Vol. 2, Num. 9


Recent laws passed in the European Union, the authors of this article argue, could make the process of making nanotechnologies available to commercial companies more difficult and problematic. The Pass Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations of 2006, passed amongst much controversy and debate, provide strict guidelines concerning the manufacture, importation, and production of chemicals throughout the European Union. REACH will have a significant impact on the development of nanotechnology, these authors argue, placing large obstacles in the way of industries seeking to use and develop nanotechnologies. Under this legislation, the burden of proving the safety of chemicals has passed from regulators to manufacturers, importers, and producers, which will mean a significant increase in financial costs to industry. While it is not entirely clear exactly how REACH will impact nanomaterials, the European Union needs to give serious consideration to how nanomaterials will be regulated under this new legislation, as it seems likely to lead to a decrease in industry and consumer confidence, which could easily lead to lack of investment in nanotechnologies.