Big buzz on nanomaterials in France, 50% threshold with regard to nanomaterial definition criticized


The National Agency for Food, Environment & Occupational Health Safety in France (ANSES) released an opinion and report about the French nanomaterials register R-Nano ( The report has received big media coverage in France. 


52,000 registration dossiers were analyzed where only 10% had the correct information provided on nanomaterial use and therefore usable. All of 90% of the nanomaterial characterization data such as size, specific surface area and surface charge are not usable. 


Based on their analysis, ANSES recommend considering: 

  • Broadening the requirement of reporting and the obligation of the declaration so that reporting also includes  substances exported to of France[SFH1] 
  • Including everyone in the transmission chain to enable the identification of consumers goods containing nanomaterials
  • Requiring that additional information is provided such as the quantities deployed by type of use and the number of workers potentially exposed to nanomaterials
  • Lowering the threshold for reporting nanomaterials, meaning the inclusion of nanomaterials that contain less than the current 50% threshold of nanoparticles (1-100nm) by size number distribution.


With regard to the latter, ANSES recommendation to lower the 50% threshold is extremely important in the context of the coming revision of the EU COM’s recommendation of the definition of the term ‘nanomaterial’. We could face a new overall definition of the term, which will have profound implications for how nanomaterials will be regulated in the future.


For further information about the report, see: (In French)