Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanotechnology: Consumers Must Be Convinced Benefits Outweigh Risks

Date:
June 26, 2007
Source:
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Summary:
"There is no doubt that nanotechnology has the potential to make the world a better place," said Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Chief Scientist Andrew Maynard. "But if consumers and other stakeholders are not convinced that the benefits outweigh the risks, many applications will not see the light of day. Likewise, if the benefits are unclear and the risks uncertain, the products of nanotechnology will be a hard sell."

"There is no doubt that nanotechnology has the potential to make the world a better place," said Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Chief Scientist Andrew Maynard. "But if consumers and other stakeholders are not convinced that the benefits outweigh the risks, many applications will not see the light of day. Likewise, if the benefits are unclear and the risks uncertain, the products of nanotechnology will be a hard sell."

Dr. Maynard's remark is in his presentation before a public meeting of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). He spoke as part of a panel devoted to addressing and managing the potential health, environmental and safety risks of nanotechnology.

"Nanotechnology is turning our world upside down...It also is shaking up our understanding of what makes something harmful and how we deal with that," according to Maynard. He described the current U.S. policy toward managing the possible health and safety risks of nanotechnologies as "approaching 21st century technologies with a 20th century mindset."

Maynard called on the federal government to develop a goal-driven risk research strategy to provide decision-makers--including regulators, industry and consumers--with the scientific information they need to help develop and use nanotechnologies as safely as possible. He suggested an international approach to this challenge based on a set of strategic research questions developed by thirteen top scientists last year which were published in the journal Nature.

The paper, "Safe handling of nanotechnology" (Maynard et al., Nature, vol. 44, 16 November 2006), was praised as a "landmark in the history of nanotechnology research" by the then chair Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and ranking member Bart Gordon (D-TN) of the U.S. Congress's House Science Committee. In a statement about the paper's findings, the Congressmen said they both had made it clear that they felt "the Administration was moving too slowly in preparing and funding a research agenda in this area [of nanotechnology risk research] when a sense of urgency was needed." Two co-authors of the paper, University of Rochester's Gunter Oberdorster, and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' (NIEHS) Sally Tinkle, also made presentations at the PCAST meeting.

In his remarks, Maynard proposed a significant increase in research funding for agencies responsible for oversight and related research--the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food & Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). He called for creation of a better decision-making and coordination mechanism among government agencies to implement a strategic federal risk research plan for nanotechnology and to lead government-industry research partnerships in this area. He noted that government-industry models like the Health Effects Institute, developed to address automobile pollution, could be leveraged for nanotechnology risk research.

Maynard also suggested that America's competitive edge and continued world leadership in nanotechnology require a sound and innovative risk management plan. He gave examples of other countries who are taking an integrated approach to nanotechnology implications and commercial applications research.

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 $30 billion in nanotechnology products were sold world-wide in 2005. By 2014, Lux Research projects that $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will incorporate nanotechnology--about 15 percent of total global output.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "Nanotechnology: Consumers Must Be Convinced Benefits Outweigh Risks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070625193301.htm>.
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. (2007, June 26). Nanotechnology: Consumers Must Be Convinced Benefits Outweigh Risks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070625193301.htm
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "Nanotechnology: Consumers Must Be Convinced Benefits Outweigh Risks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070625193301.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins