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Health Canada

Health Canada _logoHealth Canada is the Federal department responsible for regulating products and substances, including drugs, biologics, medical devices, natural health products, foods and food packaging, pesticides, new and existing substances, consumer products and cosmetics in Canada.

Health Canada uses existing legislation and regulations to mitigate potential health risks of nanomaterials and to help realise their benefits, and takes a case-by-case approach to assessing the safety of products and substances that may either be or contain nanomaterials.

As international consensus on a definition for the products of nanotechnology has not been reached yet, Health Canada has adopted a working definition for nanomaterials to provide a consistent approach across several diverse regulatory program areas to identify regulated products and substances that may contain nanomaterials. The working definition, effective as of October 2011, is described in the Policy Statement on Health Canada's Working Definition for Nanomaterial. The objectives of this Policy Statement are to:

  • Establish a working means of identifying nanomaterials;
  • Assist Health Canada to collect information and establish internal inventories regarding regulated substances, products, and any component material, ingredient, device, or structure that are nanomaterials;
  • Support communications about nanomaterials with the broader community of interested stakeholders; and,
  • Support the administration of the legislative and regulatory frameworks under the authority of Health Canada and to help further the development of policy, guidance and programs applicable to nanomaterials.

Further information about Health Canada’s nanotechnology activity is available on its website.

As part of its international collaborative work on nanotechnology and nanomaterials, Health Canada is engaged, with Environment Canada, in the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Nanotechnology Initiative. Its goal is to share information and develop joint approaches on regulatory aspects of nanomaterials, including terminology and nomenclature, as well as risk assessment and management.

Did you know?

100 nm is the size below which the EU recommendation of the definition of nanomaterials applies.