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An internationally recognized toxicologist says it's time for the fledgling nanotechnology industry to develop its own safety standards, or be prepared for international government organizations to set guidelines and establish regulations that may be restrictive to business.
"The level of innovation in nanotechnology and the development of new products is at break-neck pace," said Dr. Dave Hobson, Chief Scientific Officer of nanoTox(TM) Inc. a Texas-based testing firm. "Some toxicologists are concerned about a relative lack of attention toward investigating dangers that some of these compounds could present."
Hobson is scheduled to address a nanotechnology forum at Rice University on Jan. 25th, and plans to focus on the issue of what the industry and industry investors should consider with respect to safety and testing requirements.
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just issued its first ruling on handling waste containing silver nanoparticles," said Hobson. "There's been little or no attempt by the industry to regulate nanoparticles on its own."
"The nanotechnology industry should begin investigating and designing against potential hazards before something is overlooked and a catastrophic event occurs," Hobson warned.
"Such an event could cripple the industry and send international regulatory agencies and lawmakers into a frenzy."
Hobson owns a consulting company in Boerne, Texas, and does work for the government and various industries. He says it's a simple proposition: "We either make the effort to learn clearly the implications and consequences of using these materials now, before something unpleasant happens, or we gain that knowledge afterwards as a lesson learned at a greater cost."
Hobson says that past experience in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries shows very clearly that it's less expensive and more valuable for companies engaged in new technology development to learn the toxicological characteristics before committing to full-scale production.
Hobson said that almost every sector of manufacturing and production is a candidate for the development of nanotechnology applications, including food products, coatings, electronics and pharmaceuticals.
"A company always saves a lot of heartache and expense by learning early that a specific material has potential for causing harm, and taking appropriate measures to eliminate or control hazards before they occur in the marketplace," he said.
By collecting and cataloging such information now, the nanotechnology industry could head off draconian legislation and loss of investor confidence, which Hobson feels would be sure to follow an accident, or other unfavorable event.
About nanoTox Inc.
Nanotox provides toxicity testing for nanotech products and materials.
For more information, please click here
Douglas Morgan of nanoTox Inc., +1-713-417-5577
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