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Vigeo Eiris published a new Opinion Column: “Companies’ neglect of the challenges posed by growing use of nanomaterials”

The nanomaterials revolution continues without considerable restraint from authorities while CSR challenges are virtually ignored by concerned companies.

This paper seeks to explore the issue of nanomaterials’ impacts on human health and the environment, with a focus on sectors where there are evidences of applications in the market (Food, Luxury Goods & Cosmetics, Health Care Equipment & Services and Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology).

Vigeo Eiris assesses 376 companies’ behaviour concerning the risks associated to the use of nanotechnologies and their level of engagement regarding the respect for the fundamental right to health.

The key findings are striking:
– Most companies seem to leave the potential associated risks unaddressed
– Company response tend to be limited to abiding by current regulation, (which for the moment do not impose major challenges), instead of undertaking further voluntary disclosures
– Even though the scientific evidence is inconclusive on the long term effects of nanomaterials on human health and the environment, companies neglecting to take a hands-on approach to this topic may find themselves involved in future legal disputes if scientific evidence emerges confirming that nanomaterials indeed have a harmful impact.

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