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Federal research plan to determine nanotech risks fails to deliver
Date:9/13/2007

etails like budget allocations, implementation time frames, and assigned responsibilities. The report reflects the governments failureafter allotting over $8 billion for nanotechnology research since fiscal year 2001to develop a coordinated, prioritized, and adequately funded program to characterize potential risks to human health and the environment associated with processes and products involving engineered nanomaterials.

In comments submitted to the NSET, Dr. Maynard said, It remains hard to see how this report or subsequent planned activities will help to provide the information that industry, regulators, and the public need to ensure the safe development and use of nanotechnology.

In the projects submission to the NSET subcommittee, Maynard and Rejeski both questioned whether following the priorities listed in the document would yield information that policymakers and regulators need to ensure that existing and future nanotechnology products are safe and environmentally sustainable.

Rejeski advised that funding for nanotechnology-related EHS research be directed toward agencies which have or support regulatory missions, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. If this document is truly meant to serve as a basis for a risk research strategy, there is a long way to go, Rejeski said.

In 2006, nanotechnology was incorporated into more than an estimated $50 billion in manufactured goods. More than 500 manufacturer-identified nanotechnology consumer products are on the market from cosmetics to automobile parts to childrens toy stuffed animals (www.nanotechproject.org/consumerproducts). By 2014, an estimated $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will use this technology.

As the commercialization of increasingly sophisticated nanotechnologies gathers pace, Maynard said
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Contact: Julia Moore
nano@wilsoncenter.org
202-691-4025
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Source:Eurekalert

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