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

Small but heading for the big time: Nanobiotix half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, in line with expectations: Major clinical achievements and corporate developments August 28th, 2015

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

Nanolab Technologies LEAPS Forward with High-Performance Analysis Services to the World: Nanolab Orders Advanced Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP®) Microscope from CAMECA Unit of AMETEK Materials Analysis Division August 27th, 2015

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

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell: Coupling with perovskite solar cell holds potential for cleaner cars and more August 27th, 2015

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon August 27th, 2015

Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure August 26th, 2015

Environment

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon August 27th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Utilize Nanomembranes to Purify Wastewater of Olive Oil Plants August 20th, 2015

'Diamonds from the sky' approach turns CO2 into valuable products August 19th, 2015

Sonocatalysts Able to Purify Organic Pollutants of Wastewater August 19th, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Warning to DIY enthusiasts & construction workers as dangerous dust emissions August 19th, 2015

Bionic liver micro-organs explain off-target toxicity of acetaminophen (Tylenol): Israeli-German partnership aims to replace animal experiments with advanced liver-on-chip devices August 17th, 2015

Sediment dwelling creatures at risk from nanoparticles in common household products August 13th, 2015

Proving nanoparticles in sunscreen products August 4th, 2015

Human Interest/Art

Bionic liver micro-organs explain off-target toxicity of acetaminophen (Tylenol): Israeli-German partnership aims to replace animal experiments with advanced liver-on-chip devices August 17th, 2015

Omni Nano and Time Warner Cable Partner to Provide Nanotechnology Education to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles: A $10,000 Donation to Benefit Youth of Los Angeles County's Boys & Girls Clubs August 4th, 2015

Kalam: versatility personified August 1st, 2015

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic