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Local officials move toward monitoring nanotechnologies
Date:7/28/2008

d 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 t
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Contact: Colin Finan
colin.finan@wilsoncenter.org
202-691-4321
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Source:Eurekalert

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