Introduction to the Nanotechnology series…….

The potential and benefits of nanotechnology are promising and unknowingly dangerous

The potential and benefits of nanotechnology are promising and unknowingly dangerous

The series on nanotechnology will address many important and foundational questions posed in the entry and commercialization of novel particles employing novel technology and useful in multiple applications and settings. The folowing are a few issues that come to mind.

  • Quick Primer:
    0 Prior to 2004, products using nanoparticles or nanotechnology methods were not subject to any regulation.
    0 Current regulations fall under Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) but no new regulatory authority has been granted to FDA.
  • Financial Challenges:
    0 This presents a challenge to firms and investors who driven by fear of lawsuits due to anticipated events, and the insurance industry that covers risk.
    Workers may be exposed to potential harmful nanoparticles ehich suggests that in the event of adverse health effects they will need to be covered in later years .
    0 The challenge is that the nanotechnology industry could quite possible get killed before its starts and must promote more research, self governance and ethical guidelines.
  • Regulatory Challenges:
    0 Regulators are faced with the challenge of protecting the public and fostering scientific and technological advancements.
    0 The paucity of toxicity data and the ethical issues of exposing human subjects to very high concentrations of nanoparticles will continue to be a challenge for risk assessors and regulatory alike.
  • Social Impact:
    0 Consumers are uninformed as to whether products they purchase contain nanoparticles or use nanotechnology methods and do not have the choice to buy or steer clear of such products.
  • Quick Conclusion:
    0 The current industry and regulatory knowledge of the technology and it’s implications are inadequate for risk assessment purposes.