Nanomaterials are substances that have one or more dimensions in the nanoscale range; typically between 1 to 100 nm.  As nanomaterials have unique structures or molecular arrangements, they exhibit different (novel) electronic, mechanical, optical and magnetic properties compared to their macroscale counterparts.   In usage, they may convey potential adverse impacts on human health and/or the environment.   Accordingly, the regulatory framework under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999) enables the responsible introduction of nanomaterials into Canadian economic activities via the New Substances risk assessment process. 

Nanomaterials that are not on Canada’s Domestic Substances List (DSL) are considered “new” and, if they are to be imported into or manufactured in Canada, must be notified to Environment Canada.  The New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) specify the information that must be submitted to Environment Canada for risk assessment purposes.   Consult the Manager of Research Risk (ext. 56401) for further information regarding the (evolving) regulation of research with nanomaterials and for assistance with compliance.

For more information, visit the Environmental Health and Safety website