The Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) recently released a report entitled Nanotechnology — Large Risks with Tiny Particles? Although the report is in Swedish, it includes a summary in English. According to the report, the rapid development of new fields of application and a lack of knowledge call for caution. The report states that companies are responsible for ensuring that human health and the environment are not damaged and that legislation needs to be extended to cover nanomaterials.
Continue Reading Swedish Chemicals Agency Releases Recommendations Regarding Nanotechnology

On October 31, 2007, the House Committee on Science and Technology’s Research and Science Education Subcommittee held a hearing on the relationship between environmental and health policy and nanotechnology. The Subcommittee examined how the U.S. can stay at the forefront of scientific research and development, while at the same time establishing priorities and a detailed plan for research on the potential environmental and health risks of engineered nanomaterials. The Science and Technology Committee held two previous hearings on this issue — one in 2005 and another in 2006 — with the objective of reviewing the importance of risk research for achieving the potential benefits of nanotechnology and the efforts of the interagency National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to put in place a research strategy. Progress in developing the research strategy has been slow, however. The hearing explored the status of the planning efforts and received suggestions from outside witnesses on ways to improve the process.
Continue Reading House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Relationship Between Environmental and Health Policy and Nanotechnology

On August 16, 2007, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), on behalf of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the Committee on Technology, National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of a document entitled The Prioritization of Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Needs for Engineered Nanoscale Materials: An Interim Document for Public Comment, which assigns priority to research needs and areas identified in the NSET Subcommittee document Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Needs for Engineered Nanoscale Materials, which was published on September 21, 2006.  Comments are due September 17, 2007.
Continue Reading EHS Research Priorities Released for Comment

On August 2, 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) convened a public meeting on the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The meeting, which EPA had announced in a July 12, 2007, Federal Register notice, was well attended, with approximately 100 people in attendance. After introductory remarks by several EPA