Navigation Links
Local officials move toward monitoring nanotechnologies

Washington, DC State and local officials have taken steps to begin monitoring the manufacture and storage of nanomaterials, a major step for a cutting-edge technology that has yet to be regulated by the federal government.

On July 28, the Cambridge (Mass.) Public Health Department recommended to the city manager that Cambridge take several steps to gain a better understanding of the nature and extent of nanotechnology-related activities now underway within the city. In addition, news outlets are reporting that a key member of California State Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials is holding meetings around the state in advance of introducing legislation next year that may grant state regulators landmark oversight of nanomaterials.

In 2006, Berkeley, Calif., passed the first local ordinance in the nation by requiring handlers of nanomaterials to submit toxicology reports on the materials to the city government.

The efforts by state and local officials come as the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) recently released a report that discusses possible options for state and local governments to follow for oversight of potential negative impacts of nanotechnology including local air, waste and water regulations, as well as labeling and worker safety requirements.

"In the absence of action at the federal level, local and state governments may begin to explore their options for oversight of nanotechnologies," says Suellen Keiner, the author of Room at the Bottom? Potential State and Local Strategies for Managing the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology.

Another recent PEN report, Application of the Toxics Release Inventory To Nanomaterials, addresses the potential application of local "right-to-know" laws concerning nanotechnologies.

The Cambridge Public Health Department, in collaboration with the Cambridge Nanomaterials Advisory Committee, in its new report does not recommend the city manager enact a new ordinance regulating nanotechnology, but it does recommend that the city take the following steps:

  • Establish an inventory of engineered nanoscale materials that are manufactured, handled, processed, or stored in the city, in cooperation with the Cambridge Fire Department and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

  • Offer technical assistance, in collaboration with academic and nanotech sector partners, to help firms and institutions evaluate their existing health and safety plans for limiting risk to workers involved in nanomaterials research and manufacturing.

  • Offer up-to-date health information to residents on products containing nanomaterials and sponsor public outreach events.

  • Track rapidly changing developments in research concerning possible health risks from various engineered nanoscale materials.

  • Track the evolving status of regulations and best practices concerning engineered nanoscale materials among state and federal agencies, and international health and industry groups.

  • Report to the city council every two years on the changing regulatory and safety landscape of the nanotechnology sector.

David Rejeski, the director of PEN and a member of an advisory committee that oversaw the public health department's document, says that while the recommendations are encouraging and important, there is still a need for federal oversight of nanotechnology and an increase in research concerning the risks posed by nanomaterials.

"Today, there are more than 600 manufacturer-identified consumer products available on the market that contain nanomaterials and countless other commercial and industrial applications the public and policymakers are not aware of," Rejeski says. Unfortunately, federal agencies currently have to draw on decades-old laws to ensure the safe development and use of these technologically advanced products -- many of which are woefully out of date. Federal officials need 21st century tools for cutting-edge technologies. Anything short of that is unacceptable."

Meanwhile, California Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D), a member of the Assembly's Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, is holding meetings at major state universities and research centers with representatives from industry, government, environmental groups and others in an effort to craft legislation for introduction in 2009 that would establish a state nanotechnology regulatory program, according to an April article in Inside Cal/EPA.


Contact: Colin Finan
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

Related biology technology :

1. MedImmune Recognized by Local Volunteer Organization for Its Employees Exceptional Commitment to Community Service within Montgomery County
2. Katie Lee Joel to Conduct Free, Hands-On, Holiday Cooking Demonstration for Local Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease
3. Strengthens Local Market Candidate Reach Through Acquisition
4. Strengthens Local Market Candidate Reach Through Acquisition
5. Strengthens Local Market Candidate Reach Through Acquisition
6. Netsmart Technologies Announces Development Program on Microsoft for Local Public Health Clinic Management and Vital Records Software
7. Baxter and Its Foundation Contribute Nearly $53 Million in 2007 to Address Critical Needs Locally and Globally
8. WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX) Honored Among the BCG 50 Local Dynamos
9. NexGen Biofuels Ltd. Announces Plans to Replace its CFO With Local CFO
10. Investment Firm Allied Minds to Commercialize New Frozen Aliquotter Technology with Two Local Major Universities.
11. ViroPharma Provides Update on Upcoming FDA Advisory Committee Meeting to Discuss Bioequivalence of Locally Acting Gastrointestinal Drugs
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid ... will be speaking at the following conference, and invited ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference, New York, NY ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or ... financial results for the quarter ended September 30, ... Canadian dollars and presented under International Financial Reporting ... ," said Andrew Rae , President ... iCo-008 are not only value enriching for this ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... International Society for ... of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The conference ... ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in more than a decade. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... RALEIGH, N.C. , Nov. 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., ... Raleigh, North Carolina , today announced that the company has ... earnings represented a 391% quarter on quarter growth posted for Q3 ... Kingdom and Mexico , with the ... place in December 2015. --> United Kingdom ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/29/2015)... BOSTON , Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health ... phenomena driving the explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, ... his new book, The Internet of Healthy ... apps, sensors or smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice ... model of health care delivery, moving care from the ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... NEW YORK , Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... wearable technology, announced a partnership with 2XU, a ... accessories, to deliver a smart hat with advanced ... runners and other athletes to monitor key biometrics ... of the strategic partnership, the two companies will bring ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , October 27, 2015 ... Automated Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data ... Eye Tracking Glasses , so that they can ... --> Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):