Nanotechnology in consumer products – Calls for regulation are getting louder

Third International NanoRegulation Conference as part of the NanoEurope from September 12 – 13, 2007 in St.Gallen, Switzerland

(PresseBox) ( St.Gallen, )
The International NanoRegulation Conference will be held as part of the NanoEurope for the third time now in St.Gallen. The convention will concern itself on the one hand with the current discussion on the regulation of nanotechnology in consumer products, and on the other hand with the wide variety of activities in this area both inside Switzerland and on an international scale.

Nanotechnology is booming not only in the field of research. Also commercial applications of this technology are growing rapidly. Even today, numerous such products are already available in the marketplace, and research on additional developments is being pushed in many areas. But this success is somewhat dampened by the fact that no reliable knowledge is yet available especially on the potential risks posed by individual nanoparticles for the environment and people’s health. Therefore, a potential hazard cannot be ruled out. The intensifying discussion on potential risks and the associated call for nanotechnology regulation must be viewed against this background.

Clear declaration and more information demanded
Surveys show that consumers are not basically against nanotechnology. But in consumer-related products such as foods, cosmetics, and packaging materials, users are demanding clear declarations and more information on the potential risks.

Focus 2007: A wave of regulatory action for nano consumer products?

The occasionally critical attitude of consumers and the growing public awareness of the risks associated with nanotechnology is setting the stage. This and other factors have occasioned the U.S. authorities to regulate specific areas of nanotechnology. Now, for example, products containing silver nanoparticles that are praised as having a germ-killing effect must be tested by producers for their environmental safety. Moreover, the city of Berkley (CA) has announced plans to modify legislation on hazardous materials so that researchers and producers are required to report the type of nanomaterials they are working with. The focus of this year’s International NanoRegulation Conference will therefore be on the application of nanotechnology in consumer-related products. The emphasis will be on the following issues:

- What is the current status of international regulation of nano consumer products?
- What does REACH mean for products and businesses?
- What will future nanoproducts look like, and what regulation requirements will they entail?
- What about consumers’ general confidence in nanoproducts?
- What risks must be realistically expected in foods, cosmetics, packaging materials, or drugs incorporating nanoparticles?
- What (in)voluntary measures are possible, meaningful, and feasible?

Representatives from renowned companies will present examples of everyday consumer products that are upgraded by nanotechnology. But attention will also be directed to the other side by allowing consumers, retailers, and reinsurers to voice their opinions. This will provide an extensive picture of the positions that the stakeholders involved have adopted and of the expectations and requirements that the nanoindustry is expected to fulfill. The conference is addressed to representatives from international industrial companies, authorities, insurance companies, scientists, NGOs and associations, plus politicians, the media, and the interested public.

NanoEurope 2007
Dates: September 11 – 13, 2007
Venue: Olma Messen St.Gallen Exhibition Center, St.Gallen, Switzerland
Fair: Hall 9.1, Conferences: Halls 9.1.2, 9.2, and 2.1.

Following last year’s successful event, which was attended by 65 exhibitors and 4,500 visitors from over 33 countries, the NanoEurope trade fair will once again serve this year as a meeting platform for the interested specialist public. The event in 2007 will again focus on the industrial areas of Medical Devices, Textiles, and Plastics. New additions are Solar Power and Packaging.

For the third time now, the internationally acclaimed NanoRegulation Conference will be held on September 12 and 13, 2007 as part of the NanoEurope. Also new is the “Dye Solar Cell Industrialization Conference,” which is being organized in cooperation with Dyesol Ltd. and will take place concurrently with the NanoEurope 2007.

Die Innovationsgesellschaft, mbH
This is an international nanotechnology consultancy headquartered in St.Gallen. Its focus is on services in the fields of innovation and risk management plus communications, especially in connection with new technologies. Its clients include international businesses and authorities.
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