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Report: Asbestos Litigation Disaster for Investors Could Be Repeated With Nanotechnology Unless SEC and FASB Close Eight Major Loopholes Now Preventing Honest Disclosures
Date:6/16/2009

appear in disclosure reports and financial statements."

BACKGROUND ON NANOTECH RISKS

Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing force in the marketplace, with worldwide sales of nanotechnology-based products doubling annually. According to Lux research, the medical, pharmaceutical, materials, coatings, catalysts, food and food processing industries, as well as green energy organizations, will spend more than $1 trillion developing products based on nanotechnology by 2015. Current annual worldwide investment in nanotechnology research is over $9.6 billion, and more than two million people work in the development, production, or use of nanomaterials.

This widespread deployment of nanotechnologies in the marketplace is taking place despite evidence that the different size and surface area of nanoparticles may result in dramatically enhanced toxicity and harm to living organisms. Evaluation of the impact on human health and the environment is lagging the rapid introduction of these products to the marketplace, with future liabilities one likely result.

A recent European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) report titled "Expert Forecast on Emerging Chemical Risks" identifies the main groups of substances which could pose new and increasing risks to workers. It puts nanoparticles at the top of the list of substances from which workers need protection.

Carbon nanotubes are one type of nanotechnology. Some forms of these materials have already been found to cause granulomas in the lining, or mesothelia, of the body cavity of laboratory animals. Granulomas are pathological responses known to be precursors of mesothelioma, one of the diseases caused by asbestos. Researchers have concluded that "long, thin carbon nanotubes showed the same effects as long, thin asbestos fibers." Despite all the growing concern, companies producing carbon nanotubes have failed to discl
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SOURCE Investor Environmental Health Network, Falls Church, VA
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