From the Japanese wire services
"Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare held the first meeting of study groups on the safety of nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and fullerenes at a joint government building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, March 3, 2008. The study group will discuss the safety of nanomaterials and their effects on people's health. This meeting was jointly held as the first meeting of the respective "study group on measures to prevent workers from being exposed to chemicals, which are not confirmed as non-toxic to human" and "study group on nanomaterials' safety." "The study group on measures to protect workers from exposure" and "the study group on nanomaterial safety" were set up by the director generals of Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau and Labour Standards Bureau, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, respectively. The two study groups are planning to conduct discussions together for the first three meetings. Shoji Fukushima, director at the Japan Industrial Safety & Health Association and Japan Bioassay Research Center, has become the chairman of both study groups. The study groups consist of 22 intellectuals from administrative research institutes such as the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) as well as universities including Keio University and Kyorin University. Among chemicals including nanomaterials, which have not necessarily been confirmed as non-toxic to human beings at this point, "the study group on measures to protect workers from exposure" will discuss measures to prevent workers from being exposed to nanomaterials, for which there is concern that they may damage human health, based on the results of animal experiments and other factors."