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Nanotech group invests in government risk research

Posted: 09 Jan 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:nanotechnology  semiconductors  risk research  Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies  Gina Roos 

At the federal government's first public meeting focused on research priorities for the environmental, health and safety risks of engineered nanoscale materials, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies proposed a minimum of Rs.453.20 crore ($100 million) investment in risk research over the next two years by the U.S. government.

Current U.S. government spending on nanotechnology risk research is only Rs.49.06 ($11 million) per year, according to chief scientist Andrew Maynard, Project on Emerging Technologies. "The specific health and safety questions that are important to be addressed for nanotechnology are reasonably straightforward. And a lot already has been published about what we know and do not know about the potential risks and about how to fill existing research gaps," he stated.

Maynard added that it's more difficult getting the federal government to take action in three critical areas—documenting what relevant risk research exists, ensuring that agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Food & Drug Administration, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, responsible for oversight and related research are funded and developing a "top-down research plan".

The federal government needs a master plan for identifying and reducing potential risk as nanotechnology is already in the workplace, environment and the home, he said.

- Gina Roos
Green SupplyLine

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