On March 25, 2011, the National Research Council (NRC) announced the availability of a report entitled Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, which updates NRC’s guidelines on the safe use of hazardous chemicals. NRC last updated the guidelines in 1995, and the new edition includes new topics, including the handling of nanomaterials. The update sets out general

On July 7, 2010, the European Parliament (EP) voted that nanoscale ingredients should be banned from food in the European Union (EU) until the health and environmental risks they might pose are better understood, and that any nanoscale ingredients that are eventually authorized should be clearly labeled as such. The EP voted on several amendments to

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) seeks comment from stakeholders on how the federal government can best use its resources so three of the “newest and most promising technologies,” including nanotechnology, “provide the greatest economic benefits to society.” The President’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), which is part of PCAST, is soliciting information and ideas from stakeholders — including the research community, the private sector, universities, national laboratories, state and local governments, foundations, and nonprofit organizations — regarding the “Golden Triangle.” Each side of the Golden Triangle represents one of three areas of research that together are transforming the technology landscape today: information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.


Continue Reading PCAST Seeks Comment on Technology’s Golden Triangle

In an August 7, 2009, letter to the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy (OSTP), the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) expressed its interest in working with OSTP and other federal agencies regarding the “human health and ecological impacts and lifecycle consequences of intentional and unintentional releases of engineered nanoparticles into the

On April 14, 2009, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) issued a press release entitled “Nanotech Poses Possible Health and Safety Risk to Workers and Needs Regulation.” According to ACTU, “[t]he rapidly growing nanotechnology market in Australia requires urgent regulation to protect the health and safety of workers and consumers.” ACTU notes that, currently, there is no mandatory register in Australia of who is importing, manufacturing, supplying, or selling nanomaterials, and no requirement to label products.


Continue Reading Australian Unions Call for Regulation of Nanomaterials

On February 13, 2009, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) released a statement regarding the National Research Council’s (NRC) December 10, 2008, report regarding its review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Research.  According to the statement, NNI member agencies noted the report’s “substantial and important

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently solicited nominations for substances for review in future IARC Monographs, which identify environmental factors that can increase the risk of human cancer. IARC states that it will select substances for review based on: (a) evidence of human exposure; and (b) evidence or suspicion of carcinogenicity. The 51 substances nominated include carbon nanotubes, which received three nominations:
Continue Reading IARC Announces Carbon Nanotubes Nominated for Review

On April 18, 2008, The American Chemical Society Science & the Congress Project, The Society of Toxicology, and The Society for Risk Analysis sponsored a Congressional briefing entitled “Nanotechnology 102: Understanding Congress’ Role.” Panelists included Kristen Kulinowski, Director of the International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON); J. Clarence (Terry) Davies, Senior Advisor, Woodrow Wilson Center Project on Emerging

On February 22, 2008, the European Commission (EC) announced the European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI), which is endorsed by the Council of Ministers and by the European Parliament. Over the next ten years, € 3 billion will be invested in nanoelectronics.  The ENIAC JIT is a public-private partnership that targets

On November 8, 2007, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a memorandum regarding “Principles for Nanotechnology Environmental, Health, and Safety Oversight.” According to the memorandum, OSTP and CEQ “led a multi-agency consensus-based process” to develop principles intended to guide the development and implementation of policies for nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety oversight at the agency level.  The memorandum says that federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) “must implement sound policies to protect public health and the environment,” and “agencies that perform nanotechnology research and development or that use nanotechnology in accomplishing their mission must provide appropriate oversight.”
Continue Reading Bush Administration Releases Principles for Nanotechnology Environmental, Health, and Safety Oversight