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Workshop on Measurement Methods for Release of MWCNT from Polymer Matrices, Welcoming Remarks - Thursday, June 21, 2012, CPSC HQ

September 17, 2012

Good morning everyone. Darrell, thank you very much for that kind introduction. Richard Canady, Libby Tsytsikova, and Stephanie Carter, I also want to thank you and your organization—the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI)—for your hard work on organizing this multi-stakeholder group to address nano material issue and safety.

And to our Treye Thomas, Treye, I want to thank you for your role. It’s been suggested by several people that Treye get a promotion for his role in bringing all of you together and one staff person said it would have to be a “nano promotion.” It won’t be a nano, but I really want to thank you for doing all this.

We are just delighted to have you all here.

Your scientific work will help us get the answers we need to help establish product safety standards.

I would also like to welcome Dr. John Howard, the current Director of the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. CPSC and NIOSH have worked together on many projects. Currently we have multiple MOUs on projects involving nano and I am glad to see you here today. who helped bring this meeting here and worked hard to make sure things run smoothly over the next couple of days.

We appreciate the opportunity to host the Steering Committee Meeting and hope that the reports you hear over the next two days, and the questions you ask will swiftly establish the measurement methods we need to test product safety.

Your work, along with that of other groups testing the effects of nano materials in products, is vital to our mission of protecting consumers from unreasonable risk of injury from consumer products.

Everyone in this room should be aware of the benefits that nano materials are bringing to our everyday lives.

For example, the anti-microbial properties that could keep children’s toys and clothing cleaner hold a great promise for safer products. Consumers will want these benefits and they will look to CPSC to evaluate their safety.

I have presented the safety concerns of consumers about nano materials to business groups. I have asked that they not make their customers the guinea pig testers of their products and that they follow our regulations and ensure their products do not pose a risk to consumers.

We want to know where nano materials are being used; what are the benefits of these uses; and what, if any, steps businesses are taking to demonstrate the safety of nano materials in their products.

With scientific work being done by interagency multi-stakeholder groups like this one organized by ILSI, we will be able work with those businesses to address any health and safety concerns before they arise from consumer use of a product.

Few efforts so thoroughly support my call for companies to build safety into their products than the responsible introduction of nano materials into consumer products.

Your work at defining proper measurement methods is a big step toward helping us do our job as regulators.

Thank you again for being here, and thank you for leading the way in scientific efforts that will make consumer products more safe in the future.

As we continue our pursuit at CPSC to be the global leader in product safety, I hope you have a productive workshop so that we can enjoy the benefits of nano materials safely in the future.

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