Washington, DC The inability of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to carry out its mandate with respect to simple, low-tech products such as children's jewelry and toy trains bodes poorly for its ability to oversee the safety of complex, high-tech products made using nanotechnology, according to a new report released by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN).
Two nanotech products under the jurisdiction of the CPSC are being used in the Olympic Games in Beijing a pair of running shoes and a swimsuit. The products can be found in PEN's consumer product inventory (http://www.nanotechproject.org/inventories/consumer/), which now contains more than 800 manufacturer-identified, nanotechnology-enabled items.
"The agency lacks the budget, the statutory authority and the scientific expertise to ensure the hundreds of nanoproducts now on the market, among them baby bottle nipples, infant teething rings, paints, waxes, kitchenware and appliances, are safe. This problem will only worsen as more sophisticated nanotechnology-based products begin to enter the consumer market," argues E. Marla Felcher, who teaches at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and is the author of the report, The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Nanotechnology. The report is available at: www.nanotechproject.org/n/CPSC/.
The CPSC is charged with protecting the public against unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with consumer products. More than 15,000 consumer goods fall under the CPSC's jurisdiction, including toys and baby products, sports equipment, fitness equipment, home improvement and garden equipment, clothing, appliances, electronics and computers. The consumer product inventory maintained by PEN indicates that nanotechnology has already found its way into every one of these product categorie
|Contact: Julia Moore|
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies