Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Stimulus Debate Highlights Need for Focus on Nanotech Risks: New nano reauthorization bill includes crucial safety research mandates

Abstract:
The nearly $800 billion stimulus package being debated in Congress contains a number of measures intended to improve information technology, infrastructure and the energy economy in the United States - all areas that will be greatly aided by nanotechnology. However, without an increased focus by the federal government on possible risks posed by engineered nanomaterials, many of the potential societal advancements created by the emerging technology could be compromised.

Stimulus Debate Highlights Need for Focus on Nanotech Risks: New nano reauthorization bill includes crucial safety research mandates

Washington, DC | Posted on February 11th, 2009

The importance of understanding the possible risks posed by engineered nanomaterials is a centerpiece of legislation passed February 11 in the House of Representatives. The bill, the National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 554), which passed by a voice vote, highlights the growing need to learn more about the possible environmental, health and safety dangers posed by some nanoscale materials. The Senate is expected to take up a companion bill later this year.

Nanotechnology - which some scientists and business leaders hail as the next Industrial Revolution - is a key part of President Barack Obama's research and development strategy, particularly in the energy sector. Nanoscale-lithium batteries will be in the next generation of electric cars, and nanoscale materials are being used in solar panels that will deliver power to countless homes, businesses and government buildings.

"Nanotechnology is going to be one of the most important drivers of innovation and economic growth in the 21st century. Passage of the National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2009 in the House is a significant step in the right direction," says David Rejeski, the director of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN). "The bill contains a number of measures that will increase transparency and help improve science-based government oversight of nanotechnology. It also will help to ensure that the potential risks posed by nanomaterials do not pose a threat to public safety or undermine investor confidence."



Passage of the bill comes only months after a National Research Council (NRC) panel issued a highly critical report describing serious shortfalls in the Bush administration's strategy to better understand the environmental, health and safety risks of nanotechnology and to effectively manage those potential risks.

The NRC report, Review of the Federal Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health and Safety Research, calls for a significantly revamped national strategic plan that will minimize potential risks so that innovation will flourish and society will reap nanotechnology's benefits in areas like medicine, energy, transportation and communications.

NRC's assessment follows a PEN evaluation of the overall federal spending on nanotechnology risk-related research. Of the annual $1.5 billion investment by the government in nanotechnology research, PEN determined that in 2006 (the most recent year for which data was available) just 62 federally-funded projects were highly relevant to understanding nanotechnology risk, with an estimated annual budget of $13 million. In contrast, the Bush administration estimated that $37.7 million was invested in highly relevant risk research in fiscal year 2006. By either calculation, highly relevant risk research is only as little as 1 percent or as much as 2.5 percent of the annual federal nanotech research budget. Most experts have been calling for an annual minimum of 10 percent.

"Passage of the House bill is a sign that lawmakers believe that protection from the possible risks of nanomaterials is important not only to the safety of Americans, but also to help advance beneficial technologies for the next generation - a key in helping improve the economy," says Andrew Maynard, chief science advisor for PEN.

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. In 2007, the global market for goods incorporating nanotechnology totaled $147 billion. Lux Research projects that figure will grow to $3.1 trillion by 2015.

####

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:
Colin Finan
Phone: (202) 691-4321 (work)
(202) 841-5605 (cell)

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

News and information

Oxford Instruments and Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory collaborate to develop HTS magnet technology components for high field superconducting magnet systems June 29th, 2016

Texas A&M Chemist Says Trapped Electrons To Blame For Lack Of Battery Efficiency: Forget mousetraps — today’s scientists will get the cheese if they manage to build a better battery June 28th, 2016

Building a smart cardiac patch: 'Bionic' cardiac patch could one day monitor and respond to cardiac problems June 28th, 2016

New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers June 28th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nanoscientists develop the 'ultimate discovery tool': Rapid discovery power is similar to what gene chips offer biology June 25th, 2016

Ultrathin, flat lens resolves chirality and color: Multifunctional lens could replace bulky, expensive machines June 25th, 2016

Particle zoo in a quantum computer: First experimental quantum simulation of particle physics phenomena June 23rd, 2016

Titan shines light on high-temperature superconductor pathway: Simulation demonstrates how superconductivity arises in cuprates' pseudogap phase June 22nd, 2016

Announcements

Oxford Instruments and Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory collaborate to develop HTS magnet technology components for high field superconducting magnet systems June 29th, 2016

Texas A&M Chemist Says Trapped Electrons To Blame For Lack Of Battery Efficiency: Forget mousetraps — today’s scientists will get the cheese if they manage to build a better battery June 28th, 2016

Building a smart cardiac patch: 'Bionic' cardiac patch could one day monitor and respond to cardiac problems June 28th, 2016

New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers June 28th, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

UK NANOSAFETY GROUP publishes 2nd Edition of guidance to support safe working with nanomaterials May 30th, 2016

PETA science group publishes a review on pulmonary effects of nanomaterials: Archives of Toxicology publishes a review of scientific studies on fibrotic potential of nanomaterials May 26th, 2016

Common nanoparticle has subtle effects on oxidative stress genes May 11th, 2016

Non-animal approach to predict impact of nanomaterials on human lung published Archives of Toxicology publishes workshop recommendations May 2nd, 2016

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