Activated Carbons do not fulfill the criteria established in the different definitions of nanomaterials provided by the existing Regulations. Some of the Regulations and Scientific guides that have been evaluated are:

- European Commission Recommendation for the definition of Nanomaterials, 2011/696/EU. It was intended to be applied as an overarching framework with regard to other EU regulations
- ISO Technical Committee (TC) 229 “Nanotechnologies”
- French decree, 2012-232 and articles from Code de l’Environnement L523-1 to L523-5

NB: Activated Carbons have been cited by ECHA has example of a substance which might be interpreted as a nanomaterial based on the VSSA criteria. They state that activated carbons have a high surface area but are not nanomaterials, instead they have highly porous structures.