France’s Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE) has published an assessment based on the mandatory reporting of nanomaterials, a requirement that took effect January 1, 2013, revealing that some 500,000 metric tons of nanomaterials—280,000 produced in France and 220,000 imported—were introduced on the French market in 2012. With goals of better understanding nanoparticle substances and providing improved traceability as to their use, the new rule requires companies that manufacture, import and/or distribute a substance with nanoparticle status in an amount of at least 100 grams per year, to submit an annual report with substance identity, quantity and use information. As of June 30, 2013, more than 930 reporters submitted more than 3,400 statements concerning substances placed on the French market. According to MEDDE, more than 1,000 common products contain nanomaterials, including cosmetics and sunscreens and “their recent development and [] growing use make it desirable to improve knowledge of these substances.”
Industry experts note that the data likely reflect only a partial picture of the market for nanoparticle substances due to the novelty of the rule and the multiplicity and diversity of stakeholders, and advise that the data for this first year of reporting be taken with caution. MEDDE reportedly plans to release a second version of the report by January 2014. See, and Centre for NanoBioSafety and Sustainability News Release, December 6, 2013.