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 October 23, 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 October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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