Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Survey: Consumers Neutral on Risks, Benefits of Nano

Abstract:
The largest, most comprehensive survey of public perceptions of nanotechnology products finds U.S. consumers are willing to use specific nano-containing products - even if there are health and safety risks - when the potential benefits are high. The study also finds U.S. consumers rate
nanotechnology as less risky than everyday technologies like herbicides, chemical disinfectants, handguns and food preservatives. The findings appear in December's issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

Survey: Consumers Neutral on Risks, Benefits of Nano

HOUSTON, TX | Posted on December 5th, 2006

Study Probes Public's Willingness to Use Specific Nanoproducts

The largest and most comprehensive survey of public perceptions of nanotechnology products finds that U.S. consumers are willing to use specific nano-containing products - even if there are health and safety risks - when the potential benefits are high. The study also finds that U.S. consumers rate nanotechnology as less risky than everyday technologies like herbicides, chemical disinfectants, handguns and food preservatives.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN), University College London (UCL) and the London Business School, is the largest survey yet conducted on public willingness to use commercial nanotechnology products. It appears in the December issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

"By some estimates, products containing nanotechnology already account for more than $30 billion in annual global sales, but there is concern that the public's fixation with nanotechnology's risks - either real or imaged - will diminish consumers' appetite for products," said lead researcher Steven Currall, a management and entrepreneurship expert who conducted the research while a faculty member at Rice and while at UCL and London Business School, where he currently holds academic appointments. "Measuring public sentiment toward nanotechnology lets us both check the pulse of the industry right now, and chart the growth or erosion of public acceptance in the future."

The research was based on more than 5,500 survey responses. The authors of the article developed the surveys, which were administered by Zogby International. The surveys defined nanotechnology as involving "human-designed materials or machines at extremely small sizes that haveunique chemical, physical, electrical or other properties."

One survey polled consumers about how likely they would be to use four specific, nano-containing products: a drug, skin lotion, automobile tires and refrigerator gas coolant. This is the first large-scale study to experimentally gauge the public's reaction to specific, nano-containing products, and Currall said the use of scenarios about plausible, specific products yielded results that challenge the assumption that the publicfocuses narrowly on risk.

"It was clear that people were thinking about more than risk," he said. "The average consumer is pretty shrewd when it comes to balancing risks against benefits, and we found that the greater the potential benefits, the more risks people are willing to tolerate."

Study co-author Neal Lane, who helped craft the U.S.'s National Nanotechnology Initiative during his tenure as director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the public is likely to become more aware of nanotechnology's risks as environmental health and safety research is completed and as nanomaterials find their way into more products. What remains to be seen is whether the public's budding perceptions of the benefits of nanotechnology will also grow, he said.

"We propose that academic bodies like the UK's Royal Society and the US's National Academies set up interagency clearinghouses to coordinate public education and synthesize the latest scientific findings," said Lane, senior fellow in science and technology at Rice's Baker Institute for Public Policy. "Transmitting the latest information about both risks and benefits, in a timely, thorough and transparent way, will minimize the likelihood of apolarized public debate that turns on rumor and supposition."

Currall is Professor of Enterprise and the Management of Innovation in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL and the director of both the Management Studies Centre and the Centre for Enterprise and the Management of Innovation at UCL. He is also Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at London Business School (joint with UCL) and Faculty Co-Director of the School's Institute of Technology.

Lane is the Malcolm Gillis University Professor and professor of physics and astronomy at Rice.

Co-authors include Rice doctoral students Juan Madera and Stacey Turner, and former Rice doctoral student Eden King, now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at George Mason University.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation through CBEN.

####

About Rice University
The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) is a National Science Foundation Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center dedicated to developing sustainable nanotechnologies that improve human health and the environment. Located at Rice University in Houston, CBEN is a leader in ensuring that nanotechnology develops responsibly and with strong public support. For more information visit http://cben.rice.edu.

Rice University is consistently ranked one of America’s best teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its: size—2,850 undergraduates and 1,950 graduate students; selectivity—10 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources—an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1, and the fifth largest endowment per student among American universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work. Rice’s wooded campus is located in the nation’s fourth largest city and on America’s South Coast. For more information visit http://www.rice.edu.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
CONTACT: Jade Boyd
PHONE: 713-348-6778
E-MAIL:

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Ethics

PETA science consortium to present at Society for Risk Analysis meeting December 10th, 2014

PETA science consortium experts to present at international nanotechology workshop: PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., Is a Sponsor of Nano Risk Analysis II September 12th, 2014

PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at nanotoxicology meeting: High tech field ripe for use of sophisticated non-animal testing strategies April 22nd, 2014

Scientists disagree on responsible research April 8th, 2014

Products

Philips Introduces Quantum Dot TV with Color IQ™ Technology from QD Vision: Manufacturer is first to offer quantum dot displays for both TVs and monitors June 30th, 2015

Dais Analytic Unveils New Version of Aqualyte Membrane Technology: Updates to the Basis of the Company's Industry-Changing Nanotechnology Designed to Strengthen Position in Global Air, Energy, and Water Markets June 26th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Announces Launch of Heat Shield(TM) EPX4 Thermal Insulation and Chemical Resistant Coating June 12th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Announces Official Launch of the Eagle Platinum Tile™ May 19th, 2015

Academic/Education

Oxford Instruments’ TritonXL Cryofree dilution refrigerator selected for the Oxford NQIT Quantum Technology Hub project June 30th, 2015

Rice University boots up powerful microscopes: New electron microscopes will capture images at subnanometer resolution June 29th, 2015

Six top Catalan research centres constitute ‘The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology’ to pursue a joint scientific endeavour June 27th, 2015

Lancaster University revolutionary quantum technology research receives funding boost June 22nd, 2015

Announcements

Miniature Technology, Large-Scale Impact: Winner of the 2015 Lindros Award for translational medicine, Kjeld Janssen is pushing the boundaries of the emerging lab-on-a-chip technology - See more at: http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2015/015744/miniature-technology-large-scale-impact#stha July 7th, 2015

Tel Aviv/Tsinghua University project uses crowd computing to improve water filtration: The research, a product of the new TAU-Tsinghua XIN Center, was conducted by 150,000 volunteers at IBM's World Community Grid July 6th, 2015

Transition from 3 to 2 dimensions increases conduction, MIPT scientists discover July 6th, 2015

A Stretchy Mesh Heater for Sore Muscles July 6th, 2015

Environment

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

The peaks and valleys of silicon: Team of USC Viterbi School of Engineering Researchers introduce new layered semiconducting materials as silicon alternative June 27th, 2015

NNI Publishes Workshop Report and Launches Web Portal on Nanosensors: Both outputs support the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative ‘Nanotechnology for Sensors and Sensors for Nanotechnology: Improving and Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment’ June 24th, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Proposed TSCA Nanomaterial Rule ‘Premature’, Says Former EPA Toxicologist July 1st, 2015

NNI Publishes Workshop Report and Launches Web Portal on Nanosensors: Both outputs support the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative ‘Nanotechnology for Sensors and Sensors for Nanotechnology: Improving and Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment’ June 24th, 2015

Environmental Issues to Hamper Growth of Global Nanocomposites Market June 4th, 2015

Human Interest/Art

Renishaw's inVia confocal Raman microscope system is being used in conservation activities at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands June 16th, 2015

New sensing tech could help detect diseases, fraudulent art, chemical weapons June 1st, 2015

INSIDDE: Uncovering the real history of art using a graphene scanner May 21st, 2015

Winner Announced for NNI’s First ‘EnvisioNano’ Nanotechnology Image Contest May 6th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project