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January 13th, 2010
Safety ignored in nanotech rush, warn experts
Developing countries have embarked on a nanotechnology spree in the absence of health and safety guidelines, experts have cautioned.
Countries including China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam are intensively seeking to commercialise nanotechnology.
But unlike the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — which have taken public concerns on board and developed preliminary guidance documents on the use of the technology — developing countries are not engaging in public discourse, said experts at a workshop on nanotechnology governance and regulation held in Delhi, India, last week (8 January).
The workshop, supported by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), focused on India but participants said that the situation was similar in most developing countries engaged in nanotechnology research.
In the absence of regulation "it is a free for all", said Alok Dhawan, a researcher at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research.
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