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Report: Nanotechnology risks need addressing

Posted: 18 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Lux Research? EHS risks? commercializing nanotechnology?

Environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks pose stiff challenges to commercializing nanotechnology, according to a report by Lux Research.

The report, entitled Nanotechnology: A Research Strategy for Addressing Risk, noted an estimated $32 billion worth of products incorporating nanotechnology were sold last year. It stated that the U.S. government forecasts nanotechnology to have a $1 trillion impact on the global economy by 2015.

But very little is known about environmental, health and safety risks to nanotechnology, and current nanotechnology risk research efforts lack the strategic focus, priorities, and funding necessary to provide answers to critical EHS questions, the report said.

Written by Andrew Maynard, chief science advisor of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, the report proposes a comprehensive framework to systematically explore nanotechnology's possible risks. It argues for a top-down strategic research framework within the U.S. federal government.

Among other things, the report recommends a shift in leadership and funding to federal agencies with a clear mandate for oversight and for EHS research, and proposes a major increase in U.S. government spending over the next two years on highly relevant, targeted risk-based research to address critical research needs.

EE Times

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