Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Life Cycle Assessment Essential to Nanotech Commercial Development

Abstract:
Current Methods Adequate But Toxicity Data Lacking

Life Cycle Assessment Essential to Nanotech Commercial Development

Washington, DC | Posted on March 19th, 2007

Life cycle assessment(LCA) -- a cradle-to-grave look at the health and environmental
impact of a material, chemical, or product -- is an essential tool for ensuring the
safe, responsible, and sustainable commercialization of nanotechnology,
U.S. and European experts conclude in a new report issued today.

With the number of nanotechnology-enabled products entering the market
expected to grow dramatically -- from $30 billion in 2005 to $2.6 trillion
in global manufactured goods using nanotechnology by 2014 -- "numerous
uncertainties exist regarding possible impacts on the environment and human
health," the international authors observe in Nanotechnology and Life Cycle
Assessment: A Systems Approach to Nanotechnology and the Environment.

According to the report, wisely implemented assessment tools such as
LCA can help corporations and researchers determine likely environmental
impacts at various stages in a new nanotechnology product's life cycle. It
also enables governments, industry and consumers to compare the
environmental performance of a novel nanotech product with that of
conventional products already on the market.

Based on discussions among 27 international nanotechnology and LCA
experts at a two-day workshop held in October 2006, the report is being
simultaneously released by the European Commission (EC) and the Project on
Emerging Nanotechnologies, an initiative of the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The
workshop was organized by the Project in cooperation with the EC, with
assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of
Research & Development and International Society for Industrial Ecology.
Barbara Karn, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies visiting scientist, and
Maria Pilar Aguar, from the EC's Research Directorate-General (DG RTD),
planned and organized the workshop.

The report concludes that the existing International Organization for
Standardization (ISO) and other widely used frameworks for LCA are fully
applicable to nanomaterials and nanoproducts.

However, according to the report, the specificity of LCA results for
nanotechnology products will be limited by the "lack of data and
understanding" in areas central to the accurate assessment of the
environmental, human health, and safety effects of a particular
nanomaterial or process.

"The lack of toxicity data specific to nanomaterials is a repeating
theme in this and in other studies related to nanotech environmental,
health, and safety concerns," says Andrew Maynard, chief scientist for the
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "Nanotechnology is no longer a
scientific curiosity. Its products are in the workplace, the environment,
and home. But if people are to realize nanotechnology's benefits -- in
electronics, medicine, sustainable energy, and better materials for
building, clothing and packaging -- the federal government needs an
effective risk research strategy and sufficient funding in agencies
responsible for oversight to do the job."

"The report calls for international cooperation and coordination --
among governments, university researchers, corporations, and consumer and
other groups -- to help address critical data needs," according to Project
visiting scientist Barbara Karn. "It also highlights the need for
nano-specific protocols and practical methodologies for toxicology studies,
fate and transport studies, and scaling approaches."

Despite incomplete information, according to the report, LCA can be
useful now, as long as uncertainties and data gaps are clearly stated.
Results can help to focus attention on high-priority products and issues
with the aim of eliminating critical unknowns and encouraging life-cycle
thinking during the first wave of nanotechnology innovation.

"It is important that nanotechnology, which has the potential to
improve the quality of life in all parts of the world, is developed in a
responsible way. This includes conducting the research and development
needed to take into account the impact of nanomaterials and products
throughout their whole life cycle," noted Renzo Tomellini, head of the
Nano- and Converging Sciences and Technologies Unit in the EC's DG RTD and
chair of the European Commission Interservice Group on Nanotechnology. "The
European Commission is committed to working together with international
partners to ensure that this critical work takes place. This report is a
useful step toward fulfilling that goal."

The report is available online at: http://www.nanotechproject.org and
http://cordis.europa.eu/nanotechnology .

####

About The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies is an initiative launched by
the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable
Trusts in 2005. It is dedicated to helping business, government and the
public anticipate and manage possible health and environmental implications
of nanotechnology. For more information about the project, log on to
http://www.nanotechproject.org .

Nanotechnology is the ability to measure, see, manipulate and
manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one
billionth of a meter; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sharon McCarter
Phone: (202) 691-4016

Copyright © Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

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

Announcements

Sol-gel capacitor dielectric offers record-high energy storage July 30th, 2015

Controlling Dynamic Behavior of Carbon Nanosheets in Structures Made Possible July 30th, 2015

Newly-Developed Polymers Control Size of Nanoparticles during Production Process July 30th, 2015

Detecting small metallic contaminants in food via magnetization: A practical metallic-contaminant detecting system using three high-Tc RF superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) July 29th, 2015

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Sol-gel capacitor dielectric offers record-high energy storage July 30th, 2015

Controlling Dynamic Behavior of Carbon Nanosheets in Structures Made Possible July 30th, 2015

Newly-Developed Polymers Control Size of Nanoparticles during Production Process July 30th, 2015

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode: Major milestone in molecular electronics scored by Berkeley Lab and Columbia University team July 29th, 2015

Environment

March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

Laboratorial Performance of Nanocomposite Membrane Improved in Water Purification July 28th, 2015

Nanosorbents Reduce Amount of Heavy Metals in Petrochemical Wastewater July 23rd, 2015

Nanopaper as an optical sensing platform July 23rd, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

Environmentally friendly lignin nanoparticle 'greens' silver nanobullet to battle bacteria July 13th, 2015

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

Human Interest/Art

Pakistani Students Who Survived Terror Attack to Attend Weeklong “NanoDiscovery Institute” at SUNY Poly CNSE in Albany July 29th, 2015

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

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