Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > U.S. Government Delays Nanotechnology Safety Measures

Abstract:
Expert warns Congress that safety questions put nanotech enterprise at risk

U.S. Government Delays Nanotechnology Safety Measures

Washington, DC | Posted on October 31st, 2007

Want to buy a bag of carbon nanotubes-in quantities from a few grams to hundreds of kilograms (100 kilograms = approximately 220 pounds)? With a credit card and Internet access, you can. But is the U.S. government doing enough to ensure the safety of these materials and the hundreds of other nanotechnology commercial and consumer products currently on the market?

The answer is a resounding no, says Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies chief scientist Andrew Maynard. The materials safety data sheet for carbon nanotubes--which provides workers and safety personnel with information on proper handling procedures--treats these substances as graphite, the material used in pencils. But carbon nanotubes are as similar to pencil lead as the soot on my barbeque grill at home is to diamonds.

According to Maynard, This is just one example of the yawning knowledge gap between the nanomaterials entering commerce now and their safety. And this uncertainty over how to develop nanotechnologies safely, hamstrings regulators, hinders nanobusiness, and confuses consumers.

Dr. Maynards remarks are from his testimony today at a hearing held by U.S. Congresss House Science Committee. A copy of his written statement is available online at http://www.nanotechproject.org .

According to Maynard, filling this knowledge gap will not be easy, but it is essential and must be done quickly if nanotechnology is to succeed. He recommends the following necessary steps:
Establish a clear, top-down risk research strategy with the resources required to ensure its implementation;
Create a new federal advisory committee to allow transparent input and review from industry, scientists, labor groups, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders;
Allocate approximately 10 percent of the U.S. governments nanotechnology research and development budget to goal-oriented nanotechnology environment, health, and safety research-a minimum of $50 million annually for research directly tied to oversight and regulatory needs and an estimated $95 million per year for exploratory research that is conducted within the scope of a federal strategic research program; (Previous analysis by Maynard shows that in 2005 the U.S. government spent approximately $11 million on highly relevant risk research.)
Launch a public-private research partnership program, with cost-sharing between industry and government, to address immediate and critical research questions on effective oversight; and
Appoint a top-level government leader responsible for the action needed to address the environment, health and safety challenges of nanotechnology.

There is no doubt that nanotechnology has the potential to make the world a better place and that members of the National Nanotechnology Initiative have great intentions to do the right thing. But given what is at stake here-the quality of our environment, the future vitality of the American economy, and the health of workers and consumers-good intentions are not enough, said Maynard.

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 flea is roughly 1 million nanometers wide. More than $50 billion in nanotechnology products were sold worldwide in 2006. By 2014, Lux Research projects that $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will incorporate nanotechnology-about 15 percent of total global output.

####

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, 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

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Novel Rocket Design Flight Tested: New Rocket Propellant and Motor Design Offers High Performance and Safety October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative:Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the Laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges October 22nd, 2014

Bipolar Disorder Discovery at the Nano Level: Tiny structures found in brain synapses help scientists better understand disorder October 22nd, 2014

Announcements

Iran to Hold 3rd Int'l Engineering Materials, Metallurgy Conference October 25th, 2014

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 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