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EPA to Improve Nanotechnology

tep toward filling in some of the information gaps facing the agency. But there should be an interplay between modifying TSCA, such as promulgating a significant new use rule for nanomaterials, and the voluntary program.

A sequential approach will leave nanomaterials unregulated for far too long, and will also be less productive than if the two efforts proceed in tandem, said Davies.

This voluntary program for nanomaterials is already behind schedule. The British government put in place a Voluntary Reporting Scheme in September 2006, and appears to be on a faster track to develop appropriate controls and to give a predictable nanotechnology regulatory environment for industry and consumers, he continued.

The first generation of nanotechnology applications and products is here. In an inventory maintained by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, there are now over 500 manufacturer-identified nanotechnology consumer products being sold, said Dr. Maynard.

This figure does not include nanotechnology products on the market but not identified as such, or the hundreds of nano raw materials, intermediate components, and industrial equipment items used by manufacturers today. In addition, second generation usesin electronics, sensors, targeted drugs and active nanostructureshave already begun.

In May 2007, Davies authored the first in-depth analysis of EPAs nano-tech readiness, EPA and Nanotechnology: Oversight for the 21st Century.

The report recommends more than 25 actions that need to be takenby EPA, Congress, the President, the National Nanotechnology Initiative, and the nanotech industryto improve the oversight of nanotechnologies.

In an opinion piece published in the Boston Globe on Saturday (July 7, 2007), Davies and EPAs first administrator William Ruckelshaus wrote, Todays smallest materials pose a big opportunity and huge challenge for the Environmental Protection Age
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