As I have commented on several occasions, most of my information about Canada’s activities with regard to risk and nanomaterials comes from outside the country, notably the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
Thanks* to Lynn Bergeson and her Sept. 17, 2014 posting on Nanotechnology Now for information about the latest publication from the OECD’s Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (Note: a link has been removed),
On September 16, 2014, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a document entitled Report of the Questionnaire on Regulatory Regimes for Manufactured Nanomaterials 2010-2011. … The Report summarizes responses to the Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) Questionnaire on Regulated Nanomaterials: 2010-2011, which was issued July 12, 2012. The Questionnaire contained four sections related to the oversight of nanomaterials in various OECD jurisdictions: regulatory updates; definitions and/or legal approaches for nanomaterials by jurisdiction; regulatory challenges; and opportunities for collaboration.
You can find all of the reports from the OECD’s WPMN here, including this latest report, which is no. 42, Report of the questionnaire on regulatory regimes for manufactured nanomaterials 2010-201, ENV/JM/MONO(2014)28. This is the third time there’s been a questionnaire and subsequent report.
I have quickly skimmed through the report and found a few interesting items about Canada’s current activities and collaborations vis à vis manufactured nanomaterials and risk. From the REPORT OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE ON REGULATORY REGIMES FOR MANUFACTURED NANOMATERIALS 2010-2011 which appears to have been published Sept. 4, 2014. I have had an unusually difficult time including excerpts from the report along with page numbers, etc. On the first try, after almost an hour of cutting and pasting, I was unable to get an intelligible version into a preview. To all intents and purposes the text was in place but the preview attempt resulted in a bizarre column of text overwriting the sidebar to the right of the posts.
I tried again and found that extensive reformatting was necessary and that the original table format has been lost. Nonetheless. you will find there are two pieces of legislation being reported on, CEPA (1999), which I believe has something to do with Environment Canada, and F&DA, which seems to be associated with Health Canada. One or both pieces of legislation may be referenced as per the OECD report. Page numbers from the document are included after the excerpted table entries.
Table 12: Hazard identification …
Extrapolation between nanomaterials (i.e., choosing the appropriate surrogate)
Validity of testing methods and analytical tools to detect, characterize and measure nanomaterials
Participating in international forums such as the WPMN [OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials], Expert Meetings, and ISO [International Standards Organization] TC/229 to support the generation and synthesis of appropriate science.
Support domestic research to help minimize challenges in hazard identification.
Nanomaterial-based products under the F&DA (i.e. nanomedicines) can be associated with a broad spectrum of toxicities that are dependent on the nanoparticle properties (e.g. size, surface charge and solubility). However, there is currently no specific guidance document available for nanomedicines. Nanoparticle properties can significantly impact the PK profile/biodistribution of nanomedicines resulting in safety concerns. The components of the nanomedicines can also interact with the immune system and may trigger unique immunogenicity/immunotoxicity profile. Animals are generally not predictive of immunological responses for biologics (however, it may not be the case if the nanomedicine is a chemical drug), it is likely that immunological studies for nanomedicines should be carried out in human clinical trials. Long term studies may be required for a nanomaterial that persist and accumulated in particular tissues for an extended period of time. p. 45
Table 13: Health and safety …
F&DA Veterinary Drugs
Due to the lack of a comprehensive understanding of the effects of nanomaterials on human, animal and environmental health, the Veterinary Drugs Directorate has not yet established a comprehensive occupational health and safety policy. Moreover, occupational health and safety is a shared responsibility between the federal and provincial governments in Canada.
At this time, there is no conclusive evidence linking exposure of nanomaterials from veterinary drugs or food sources to negative impact on human health. Additional research is necessary before a definitive policy approach can be taken.
F&DA Veterinary Drugs
Veterinary drugs including those that contain nanomaterials are regulated by the Food and Drugs Act and the Food and Drug Regulations. These provide the Veterinary Drugs Directorate with the authority to regulate the human health and safety aspects of veterinary drug products. The Regulations cover the aspects of the manufacturing, human and animal safety and efficacy assessment, and post-market surveillance of veterinary drug products including those containing nanomaterials. The latter products are subject to the same rigorous assessments as non-nanomaterial-containing veterinary drug products. p. 47
Table 14: Risk Assessment Methodologies
Our understanding of risk assessments of nanomaterials is still evolving. Nanomaterials regulated under the industrial chemicals program employ a precautionary approach (i.e., exposure is typically mitigated), and nano-relevant information is requested whenever appropriate to conduct more informed risk assessments.
Canada also continues to work in international projects, such as the international life sciences institute NanoRelease project aimed at developing methods to quantify releases of nanomaterials from solid matrices.
Canada is also part of the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Nanotechnology Initiative with the United States. Under this project, Canada and the US are developing a classification scheme for nanomaterials to inform on the utilization of analogue/read- across, developing frameworks and common assumptions to better
inform risk assessments, and mining public and confidential use information to increase marketplace knowledge of nanomaterials. p. 49
Table 15: Risk Management and Nanomaterials in Commerce …
Knowledge of use profiles of industrial nanomaterials; lack of specificity in risk
management measures given the overall lack of information and nomenclature systems for nanomaterials
Under the RCC, Canada and the US are gathering information on the uses of industrial nanomaterials in the two countries. p. 52
Table 16: Research … (to support regulatory decisions)
– foster domestic and international capacity to generate research on risk assessment priorities and needs
– applying research findings to nanomaterial risk assessments
– using research on nanomaterials to extrapolate to other nanomaterials
– Canada is actively supporting domestic and international research projects to help inform risk assessments.
Filling knowledge gaps
HC [Health Canada] is conducting laboratory research to study the effects of lipid nanoparticles on the thermal stability of various recombinant proteins with the aim of identifying determinants of susceptibility to unintended deleterious interactions. p. 55
Table 17: Impact of Regulatory Actions and Innovations and Economic Growth
How to obtain the necessary information on nanomaterials, and how to regulate them in a manner that does not prevent them from offering their many benefits to society.
Consult with industry on proposed approaches. Focus information requests and requirements. pp. 56/7
Table 18: Labelling Communication of Nanomaterials …
Labelling of nanomaterials has not been considered under CEPA 1999 to date. p. 58
Table 19: Collaboration with other countries …
CEPA (1999) & F&DA
New Substances Program is involved in various international activities, including:
1) International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 229 on Nanotechnologies
2) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Party on
Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) and Working Party on Nanotechnology (WPN)
3) Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC)
4) International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation (ICCR) – 2 Reports have been published
a) Criteria and Methods of Detection for Nanomaterials in Cosmetics:
b) Methods for Characterization of Nanomaterials in Cosmetics
5) International Regulators Nanotechnology Working Group
6) International Life Sciences Institutes (ILSI) – NanoRelease Food Additive Project
In addition, for veterinary drugs, Health Canada collaborates with other regulatory agencies in USA, Europe, Australia, etc in the regulation of non-nanomaterial products and substances and would do the same for substances that are, or products containing nanomaterials pp. 59/60
Table 19: Expert Workshop Sponsorship [table number repetition noted]
The Workshop on the Human and Environmental Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials convened by Health Canada and Environment Canada (March 24-26, 2010) provided an open forum for detailed dialogue on nanomaterials among science evaluators, research scientists and regulators. The Workshop was attended by 25 experts from Australia, Canada, Europe, Korea and the United States of America. In addition, seven observers attended the Workshop.
Regulatory Cooperation Council with the United States
Health Canada will be hosting a Joint NanoLyse/NanoRelease Workshop to discuss methods and safety of nanomaterials and share information from the respective projects. NanoLyse is an EU research consortium to develop methods of analysis for engineered nano-materials in foods and NanoRelease is an International Life Sciences Institute lead initiative to develop of analytical methods, alimentary canal models for uptake of engineered nano-materials and review of regulatory issues. p. 61
In any event, good luck with the reading and you can find out more about NanoLyse here and more about Canadian participation in the NanoRelease Food Additive Steering Committee project here.
* ‘Thank’s’ changed to ‘Thanks’ on April 7, 2015