The OECD recently published 2 test guidelines related to manufactured nano-materials.
It concerns respectively the OECD guidance 317 on the aquatic and sediment toxicity testing of nanomaterials and the OECD 318 guidance on the dispersion stability and further ecotox testing strategies. The OECD 317 test would in principle be less relevant for metals given that it is defined as the toxicity directly from standard ecotoxicity tests on soluble salts, which is still considered as precautionary. However, it cannot be excluded that Member States of EU may ask for a 317 test for manufactured nanomaterials under Substance Evaluation programs including metals, by using these protocols. The situation for guidance 318 is different given a new standard request for nanomaterials in addition to the transformation dissolution test to measure the stability of the dispersion of nanomaterials in aquas solutions with different properties. The combination of a screening and dispersion dissolution test is used to define the next steps of dispersion stability testing and/or ecotoxicity testing.
Eurometaux proposed to assess in detail the learnings from the ongoing Zinc oxide Substance Evaluation and other metal nanoform experiences on the TDp and the OECD 318 at a workshop to be organised in November. This would hopefully allow to draw some fact based conclusions and recommendations for the sector in when and how to apply the OECD 318 and to propose these learnings to the OECD (and ECHA) in a later phase.
Somewhat surprizing is that the OECD 318 does not include an explicit clause to its initial nature as is included in the introduction of guidance 317: This Guidance Document should be considered as a living document and subject to amendment and refinement as new information becomes available, and/ or new Test Guidelines are developed.
The OECD has scheduled several meetings related to nanomaterials. The most important one is the OECD working part on manufactured Nanomaterials which will be preceded by an industry (BIAC) preparatory session on 27August. The OECD also plans a meeting on Advanced Materials. This term was invented to prevent developing, like for manufactured nano-materials, different programs each time a new type of material/substances requires consideration. This online conference will focus on scoping this activity. EPMA will be following the meetings through Eurometaux to assess if new type of advanced materials could affect the metals Chemicals Strategy.