Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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 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

Caltech Researchers Create Light-Bending Silicon Chip: Bending the Light with a Tiny Chip March 10th, 2014

Products

Biosenta Inc. Updates New Household Disinfectant Testing Results; It Kills 100% of a Broad Range of Deadly Molds, Fungi, Bacteria, and Viruses, Including Ebola and Enterovirus D68 November 20th, 2014

NEI Development Update on NANOMYTE® TC-5001, a Protective Coating for Zinc-Plated and Galvanized Steel November 8th, 2014

HZO Teams With Deutsche Telekom to Unveil the Waterproof Tolino Vision 2 eReader: The New HZO Protected eReader Ushers in a New Era of Waterproof Electronics, Providing a Seamless User Experience Without the Risk of Using Port Doors and Mechanical Seals October 10th, 2014

7th Nanotechnology Festival, Exhibition Kicks Off Work in Iran October 7th, 2014

Academic/Education

SUNY Poly Student Awarded Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Energy's Postgraduate Research Program: Ph.D. Candidate Accepts Postmaster's Appointment To Conduct Research At Albany NanoTech Complex November 13th, 2014

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Hosts Massive Crowd of More Than 3,000 People Who Attended Community Day Activities Across New York State: CNSE’s ‘NANOvember’ kickoff event highlights New York State’s growing high-tech sector with open house events in Albany, Utica, and Rochester November 3rd, 2014

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Invites the Public to Attend its Popular Statewide 'NANOvember' Series of Outreach and Educational Events October 23rd, 2014

First Canada Excellence Research Chair gets $10 million from the federal government for oilsands research at the University of Calgary: Federal government announces prestigious research chair to study improving oil production efficiency October 19th, 2014

Announcements

SEMATECH to Showcase Innovation and Advances in Manufacturing at SEMICON Japan 2014: SEMATECH experts will share the latest techniques, emerging trends and best practices in advanced manufacturing strategies and methodologies November 26th, 2014

Australian startup creates world’s first 100% cotton hydrophobic T-Shirts November 26th, 2014

The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers November 26th, 2014

'Giant' charge density disturbances discovered in nanomaterials: Juelich researchers amplify Friedel oscillations in thin metallic films November 26th, 2014

Environment

Iranian Experts Clean Uranium-Contaminated Water by Nano-Particles November 23rd, 2014

Silver Nanoparticles Produced in Iran from Forest Plants Extract November 20th, 2014

Nano Sorbents Able to Remove Pollutions Caused by Oil Derivatives November 20th, 2014

Application of Nanocomposites in Production of Photocatalysts for Water Treatment November 17th, 2014

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Sustainable Nanotechnologies Project November 20th, 2014

A gut reaction November 19th, 2014

Nanosafety research – there’s room for improvement October 29th, 2014

Plastic nanoparticles also harm freshwater organisms October 18th, 2014

Human Interest/Art

Longhorn beetle inspires ink to fight counterfeiting November 5th, 2014

Iran-Made Respiratory Nano Masks Provided to Hajj Pilgrims October 23rd, 2014

Japanese gold leaf artists worked on a nano-scale: Study demonstrates X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is a non-destructive way to date artwork July 3rd, 2014

Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks: A real possibility next Christmas? Forget socks and shaving foam, the big kids of tomorrow want an invisible cloak for Christmas December 19th, 2013

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE