Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

US Government Delays Nanotechnology Safety Measures, Report States

Date:
November 3, 2007
Source:
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Summary:
Want to buy a bag of carbon nanotubes -- in quantities from a few grams to hundreds of kilograms (100 kilograms = approximately 220 pounds)? With a credit card and Internet access, you can. But is the U.S. government doing enough to ensure the safety of these materials and the hundreds of other nanotechnology commercial and consumer products currently on the market?

Want to buy a bag of carbon nanotubes--in quantities from a few grams to hundreds of kilograms (100 kilograms = approximately 220 pounds)? With a credit card and Internet access, you can. But is the U.S. government doing enough to ensure the safety of these materials and the hundreds of other nanotechnology commercial and consumer products currently on the market?

Related Articles


The answer is a resounding "no," says Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies chief scientist Andrew Maynard. "The materials safety data sheet for carbon nanotubes--which provides workers and safety personnel with information on proper handling procedures--treats these substances as graphite, the material used in pencils. But carbon nanotubes are as similar to pencil lead as the soot on my barbeque grill at home is to diamonds."

According to Maynard, "This is just one example of the yawning knowledge gap between the nanomaterials entering commerce now and their safety. And this uncertainty over how to develop nanotechnologies safely, hamstrings regulators, hinders nanobusiness, and confuses consumers."

According to Maynard, filling this knowledge gap will not be easy, but it is essential and must be done quickly if nanotechnology is to succeed. He recommends the following necessary steps:

  1. Establish a clear, top-down risk research strategy with the resources required to ensure its implementation;
  2. Create a new federal advisory committee to allow transparent input and review from industry, scientists, labor groups, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders;
  3. Allocate approximately 10 percent of the U.S. government's nanotechnology research and development budget to goal-oriented nanotechnology environment, health, and safety research--a minimum of $50 million annually for research directly tied to oversight and regulatory needs and an estimated $95 million per year for exploratory research that is conducted within the scope of a federal strategic research program; (Previous analysis by Maynard shows that in 2005 the U.S. government spent approximately $11 million on highly relevant risk research.)
  4. Launch a public-private research partnership program, with cost-sharing between industry and government, to address immediate and critical research questions on effective oversight; and
  5. Appoint a top-level government leader responsible for the action needed to address the environment, health and safety challenges of nanotechnology.

"There is no doubt that nanotechnology has the potential to make the world a better place and that members of the National Nanotechnology Initiative have great intentions to do the right thing. But given what is at stake here--the quality of our environment, the future vitality of the American economy, and the health of workers and consumers--good intentions are not enough," said Maynard.

Dr. Maynard's remarks are from his testimony given October 31, 2007 at a hearing held by U.S. Congress's House Science Committee. A copy of his written statement is available at the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies website, linked to below.

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 $50 billion in nanotechnology products were sold worldwide in 2006. 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. "US Government Delays Nanotechnology Safety Measures, Report States." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071031103352.htm>.
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. (2007, November 3). US Government Delays Nanotechnology Safety Measures, Report States. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071031103352.htm
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "US Government Delays Nanotechnology Safety Measures, Report States." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071031103352.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

RightThisMinute (Jan. 29, 2015) — If your car has an "Insane Mode" then you know it&apos;s fast. Well, these unsuspecting passengers were in for one insane ride when they hit the button. Tesla cars are awesome. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Bill Gates joins the list of tech moguls scared of super-intelligent machines. He says more people should be concerned, but why? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Stunt Pilots Perform Incredibly Close Flyby

Two Stunt Pilots Perform Incredibly Close Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 29, 2015) — Two pilots from &apos;Escuadrilla Argentina de Acrobacia Aιrea&apos; perform an incredibly low altitude flyby stunt during a recent show exhibition in Argentina. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
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