Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > NanoWaste Needs Attention of EPA, Industry and Investors

Abstract:
Better toxicity data and private-sector outreach strategy required to manage potential risks

NanoWaste Needs Attention of EPA, Industry and Investors

Washington, DC | Posted on July 25th, 2007

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must make key decisions about how to apply the two major end-of-life statutes to nanotechnology waste in order to ensure adequate oversight for these technologies, concludes a new report from the Wilson Center's Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. However, the report notes that the Agency lacks much of the data on human health and eco-toxicity that form the basis for such determinations, creating some tough challenges ahead in EPA's decision-making process.

In addition, firms that manufacture nanomaterials, investors, and insurers should consider the new kinds of liabilities and environmental risks that may emerge as a result of the release and disposal of waste nanomaterials into the environment. The report, Where Does the Nano Go? End-of Life Regulation of Nanotechnologies, written by environmental law experts Linda Breggin and John Pendergrass of the Environmental Law Institute, was commissioned by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, an initiative of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The report is available online at: http://www.nanotechproject.org/132 .

The report provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of two key EPA-administered laws that regulate the end-of-life management strategies for nanotechnology materials and products. These are the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the Superfund statute.

According to the report, companies must recognize that as a result of CERCLA, RCRA and other environmental statutes, the environmental due diligence that accompanies many commercial transactions and securities offerings should include an examination of the handling and disposal of nanomaterials. Insurers also need to "take into account the potential for CERCLA and RCRA liability arising from releases or disposal of waste nanomaterials and products in drafting new insurance policies, interpreting existing policies, and planning for future potential liabilities." Central to all risk management efforts is the need for the EPA to "conduct outreach and education to the private sector, particularly to small companies and start-ups, about how RCRA and CERCLA could apply to nanomaterials."

"Today, with hundreds of nanotechnology products already on the market, one of the questions in greatest need of attention is how various forms of nanomaterials will be disposed of and treated at the end of their use. They may find their way into landfills or incinerators, and, eventually, into the air, soil, or water. When we throw something away, there really is no ‘away,' and this report takes a crucial step forward in analyzing how such concerns can be addressed within the current legal framework," said David Rejeski, director of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

Leslie Carothers, president of the Environmental Law Institute, noted at the release of the report that, "the end-of-life regulation of nanotechnology is a topic that must be addressed now, before the EPA, other agencies, and the business community are forced to respond to uncertainties in the law and its interpretation without any guidance. Moreover, we must take a lifecycle approach to managing the potential risks posed by engineered nanomaterials which takes into account the full range of uses, from production, to use, to disposal. We do not want a nanowaste problem to be a legacy of this technology."

About Nanotechnology
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. More than $30 billion in products incorporating nanotechnology were sold globally in 2005. By 2014, Lux Research estimates this figure will grow to $2.6 trillion.

####

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 www.nanotechproject.org.

The Pew Charitable Trusts (www.pewtrusts.org) is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. We partner with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share our commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds and engaged in the study of national and international affairs.

The Environmental Law Institute® is an independent, non-profit research and educational organization based in Washington, DC. The Institute serves the environmental profession in business, government, the private bar, public interest organizations, academia, and the press. For further information about the Environmental Law Institute, please contact Brett Kitchen at 202-939-3833 or .

For more information, please click here

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


Brett Kitchen, ELI
Phone: (202) 939-3833

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

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

Announcements

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Environment

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam October 20th, 2014

Plastic nanoparticles also harm freshwater organisms October 18th, 2014

New Nanocomposites Help Elimination of Toxic Dyes October 15th, 2014

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Plastic nanoparticles also harm freshwater organisms October 18th, 2014

Human health, wealth require expanded marine science, experts say: In Rome, European experts publish a 'common vision' of priorities for marine research and action through 2020 October 9th, 2014

Coating Nanotubes with Aluminum Oxide Lowers Risk of Lung Injury October 6th, 2014

PEN Inc. Chairman Scott Rickert Announces Company Vision, Product Priorities and Management Team: Webcast Highlights the Launch of PEN October 3rd, 2014

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