Development of an interactive tool for the implementation of environmental legislation for nanoparticles manufacturers

01/09/2014

Project consortium is composed by five partners: AIDO- Technological Institute of Optics, Colour and Imaging (Spain) as project leader; CENTI- Centro de nanotecnologia e materiais técnicos, funcionais e inteligentes (Portugal); Technology Centre KETEK, LTD (Finland); Cámara Oficial de Comercio, Industria y Navegación de València (Spain); IMT – Institutul National de Cercetaredezvoltare Pentru Microtehnologie (Romania).

The objective of i-NanoTool project is to contribute to the efficient implantation of the environmental policy and legislation in nanomaterials manufacturers companies, especially SMEs. For this, i-NanoTool aims to the development of an interactive tool for the implementation of environmental legislation in nanoparticle manufacturers.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM TARGETED

Developing nanoparticles involves several environmental risks. Wastes, which are generated along all life cycle of nanomaterials, can reach environment by different ways and have the potential to become hazardous pollutants that may affect the environment. Assessment of their impact is a function of their intrinsic characteristics, the manufacturing process, the size of batch production, storage and distribution.

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION

Nanotechnology products, nanoparticles and nano-production processes are in general subject to existing law, concerning chemical licensing procedures, product safety, operational plant concessions and environmental laws.

Since 2004, European Union has intensified its efforts with regard to regulatory aspects of nanotechnology. New European legislation, expected in the forthcoming years, will consider environmental impact and risk associated with nanomaterials and therefore new requirements, that companies must comply, will be established.

PROJECT APPROACH

In general, companies involved in nanotechnology, mainly SMEs, have a high technological component. In fact, some of them are spin-offs, that have emerged from existing research institutions (universities generally). According to different studies of European nanomaterials manufacturers companies, high percentage of the nanomaterials producers are micro and small enterprises. Therefore, given these characteristics of the nanomaterials manufacturers companies (small size and technological component), it is likely that there exist a lack of knowledge related to: environmental aspects and their impact involved; laws that the companies must comply and administrative/bureaucratic procedures.

i-NanoTool will develop an e-tool to contribute to overcome in SMEs two main barriers in relation to environmental problems of the nanomaterials manufacturers: lack of knowledge related to environmental aspects and their impact; lack of knowledge of laws that the companies must comply and administrative/bureaucratic procedures.

SELF DIAGNOSIS TOOL

i-NanoTool project will develop an interactive platform (e-tool) for environmental self diagnosis addressed to nanoparticles manufacturers in European countries with the objective of contributing to the efficient implantation of European environmental legislations and policies and environmental management practices. This e-tool will:

– Inform of the current environmental legislation.

– Inform of methods to evaluate the environmental impact.

– Permit companies to know the grade of compliance of the legislation and provide recommendations to improve their situation.

– Provide guidelines to manage the environmental impact, both during production process and when the product is finished.

This e-tool will be available in the project website and will include the following modules:

– Environmental diagnosis: it will generate an environmental questionnaire.

– Environmental report: once the questionnaire has been filled a report will be generated with the results and a list of requirements applicable to the company.

– Statistics: it will show different statistics – evolution of the company and a comparison of the percentage requirements complied with by other similar companies, etc.

– Testing methods: it will show a list of test methods useful to carry out an evaluation of the environmental impact.

– Environmental impact management: it will provide some guidelines to environmental impact management.

– Interactive Platform: section dedicated to exchange of ideas among registered companies.

– Alert systems: this option will allow the registered companies to receive alerts via e-mail, related to new legislations, events or/comments of other companies in the interactive platform.

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