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June 5th, 2007
UC, Lab Opt Out of Nanoparticle Report
Berkeley was in the national headlines for weeks after the City Council approved a policy in December 2006 that requires local businesses to report to the city on their use of nanotechnology materials as well as guidelines for safety procedures and disposal of the substances.
By the June 1 reporting date the only business following the formal reporting procedure was Bayer Laboratories, according to Toxics Manager Nabil Al-Hadithy. The other two local users of the technology, UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) responded, but did not include the specific data required by the ordinance.
"I am especially disappointed because LBLN has been engaged in the process [of writing the reporting procedures] for two years and has failed to implement it," Al-Hadithy said.
The policy requires companies working with engineered nanoparticles—materials one of whose axes is 100 nanometers or less (a nanometer is one-trillionth of a meter)—to submit a report disclosing the toxicology of the nanoparticles used and "how the facility will safely handle, monitor, contain, dispose, track inventory, prevent releases and mitigate such materials," says the city ordinance.
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