MEPs Call For Multiwalled Nanotube Ban

An MEP attempts to inhale some carbon nanotubes

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are an odd and under worked bunch. In order to fill their time they built a second parliament building in Brussels and spend every fourth week shuttling between Brussels and Strasbourg while submitting expense claims.

The Devil makes work for idle hands, and according to Chemistry World the latest scheme from Brussels is to require labelling of any electronic device containing nanomaterials (all of them!). Oh, and while they are at it, how about banning nanosilver and multiwall nanotubes “in electrical and electronic products” for good measure?

It’s a bizarre and badly thought out proposal, and as Chemistry World points out

It remains unclear precisely what the MEPs deem to be nanomaterials. If they follow the definition used in the Novel Foods directive, then it would mean any material engineered or manufactured to be of the order of 100nm in at least one dimension. This, however, would lead to every electronic product requiring labelling…The sense behind banning long multiwalled carbon nanotubes is more apparent; for example, there is some evidence that they may behave like asbestos when inhaled. But even then, the nanotubes have to be free for inhalation, which would not be the case if they were bound up in an electrical product.

But who knows how MEPs think. Do they think that computers work as a result of large crystal bowls filled with carbon nanotubes being left in draughty places, or is inhaling finely ground iPhones through a rolled up €500 note all the rage in the toilets of the European Parliament?

It seems to be a clear case of make laws first, worry about the facts later.

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  1. Pingback: European nanotech communication roadmap and Canada’s silence « FrogHeart

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