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CENARIOS Certification Standard May Become Global Safety Standard for Nanotechnology

In the context of the 4th NanoRegulation Conference from September 16-17 in St.Gallen (Switzerland), the globally active certification company TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH presented the CENARIOS® certification standard. The first and only nano safety standard with certificate worldwide brings transparency and safety for companies, authorities, investors and consumers.

At the 4th International NanoRegulation Conference 2008 in St.Gallen, Dr. Peter Langer, CEO of TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH presented the certification standard for the first nano safety label (CENARIOS® = Certifiable nanospecific Risk Management and Monitoring System).

With the publication of the standard, one of the biggest globally active certification companies defines the requirements for safety and transparency in the handling of nanomaterials. The CENARIOS® certificate can be used by producers, processors, retailers and recyclers of nanomaterials and applicable globally.

The label documents the high safety efforts of the company for customers, the public, authorities and investors. Thus, potential risks in the areas of health, environment and product liability can be reduced systematically. The risk management system can be used in addition to existing management systems (ISO 900ff, ISO 14000ff, etc.) or as stand-alone system.

To date there are no nano-specific laws or regulations worldwide, even though a variety of products and substances are available on the market. The risk profile of many nano products is, however, still unclear. Due to the lack of guidelines for the handling of these products, the market proves to be very intransparent. Retailers, processors, producers and authorities only have limited information regarding the composition and dangerousness of the products. Furthermore, there is hardly any information flow within the value chain from producers to consumers. Therefore, the motivation for the development of the standard was the urgent need of authorities as well as industry to establish a reliable and sustainable risk management.

With the publication of the requirements for the CENARIOS® certificate companies for the first time have the opportunity to build a nano risk management system according to clear principles and to let an external examination body check its appropriateness for nanomaterials. This lays the foundations for the transparent transfer of information within the value chain and to the authorities.

The responses to the presentation of the certification requirements among the participants of the NanoRegulation were positive. Representatives of regulating agencies in the German speaking countries called it a valuable element for authorities. The system was also welcomed by the retailing industry: At the same conference Thomas Gude from the Swiss Retailers Association (IG DHS) presented a Code of Conduct that requires suppliers to prove the presence of a reliable risk management. Samuel Schär, Managing Director of Bühler’s PARTEC unit and user of the CENARIOS® standard confirmed that he “rests much more easily” since he knows that a reliable system for risk control is established in his company.

Generally, there was the hope that the introduction of the CENARIOS® standard will help strengthening the trust of users and consumers in nanotechnologies.

The certification Standard is available here.

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