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November 26th, 2007
How big is this new scientific marvel? "One estimate states that 15 percent of global manufactured goods will contain nanotechnology by the year 2014," said Lloyd's. That would concern almost everybody. "Some believe they have the power to transform the world; others are concerned that the pace of change is too fast and unregulated. At best insurers may have new products to insure; and safer materials leading to lower insurance losses. At worst they could lead to unexpected life, health, workers compensation, physical damage, and pollution losses."
What is really needed is more knowledge. The particles are so small that they can go practically anywhere undetected. They could cause environmental damages. For human beings there may be liability issues. "We need to know what nano-particles are hazardous to humans, and what concentrations are required to cause harm?" said Lloyd's. "Can nano-particles cause chronic health effects similar to asbestosis? The short answer is that we simply do not know.
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