Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

On March 10, 2011, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) announced the most recent update to its consumer products inventory, which now includes more than 1,300 manufacturer-identified, nanotechnology-enabled products, ranging from conventional products, such as non-stick cookware, to more unique items, like self-cleaning window treatments. When PEN launched its inventory in March 2006, it included

On November 4, 2010, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released a report entitled Voluntary Initiatives, Regulation, and Nanotechnology Oversight: Charting a Path, which reviews a number of voluntary options available for the oversight of nanotechnology products and processes. The report classifies the various types of voluntary initiatives and the partnerships that underlie them, and assesses

On November 10, 2009, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released findNano, an application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch that is intended to let users determine whether consumer products are nanotechnology-enabled. According to PEN, the application allows users to browse an inventory of more than 1,000 nanotechnology-enabled consumer products, from sporting goods to food

The London School of Economics (LSE), Chatham House, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars held a conference on September 10-11, 2009, on “Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation: Securing the Promise of Nanotechnologies,” in London. LSE, Chatham House, ELI, and PEN are participating in an international collaborative project, Regulating Nanotechnologies in the EU and U.S., which is funded by a grant from the European Commission. Their research findings on issues of transatlantic regulatory cooperation were published in a report during the conference. The conference was intended to bring together regulatory experts from the United States (U.S.) and European Union (EU) to discuss recommendations from this research effort and to generate and examine new ideas that would enable greater transatlantic cooperation and convergence on nanotechnology oversight today and in the future. The materials released at the conference include a briefing paper entitled Regulating Nanomaterials:  A Transatlantic Agenda, and the report entitled Securing the Promise of Nanotechnologies:  Towards Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation.


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On August 25, 2009, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) held a public hearing to receive comments about its agenda and priorities for CPSC during fiscal year (FY) 2011, which begins October 1, 2010, and about its current strategic plan. CPSC invited participation by members of the public, and representatives from the Consumers Union

On August 18, 2009, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released data showing that more than 1,200 companies, universities, government laboratories, and other organizations are involved in nanotechnology research, development, and commercialization. According to PEN, this is a 50 percent increase from the 800 organizations it identified two years ago. The data are part of PEN’s interactive map displaying the growing “Nano Metro” landscape, powered by Google Maps®. PEN’s accompanying analysis ranks cities and states by numbers of companies, academic and government research centers, and organizations and technology focus by sector.


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The September 2009 issue of the European Respiratory Journal will contain a study entitled “Exposure to nanoparticles is related to pleural effusion, pulmonary fibrosis and granuloma.”  The study examines the relationship between a group of workers presenting with “mysterious” symptomatic findings and their nanoparticle exposure. The authors conducted surveys of the workplace, made clinical observations, and examined the patients — seven young female workers (aged 18 to 47 years), exposed to nanoparticles for five to 13 months, all with shortness of breath and pleural effusions.  According to the study abstract, polyacrylate, consisting of nanoparticles, was confirmed in the workplace.  Using transmission electron microscopy, nanoparticles were observed to lodge in the cytoplasm and caryoplasm of pulmonary epithelial and mesothelial cells, but are also located in the chest fluid.  The authors state that these cases “arouse concern that long-term exposure to some nanoparticles without protective measures may be related to serious damage to human lungs.” The study is not yet available on the European Respiratory Journal website.


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On July 8, 2009, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) announced the availability of an article entitled Nanotechnology and In situ Remediation: A review of the benefits and potential risks, which discusses the use of nanomaterials in the environmental cleanup process. According to the article, nanomaterials have the potential to

On April 28, 2009, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released a report entitled Oversight of Next Generation Nanotechnology, which calls for the creation of the Department of Environmental and Consumer Protection, which would oversee product regulation, pollution control and monitoring, and technology assessment. According to report author J.

On January 14, 2009, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released a report entitled A Hard Pill To Swallow: Barriers to Effective FDA Regulation of Nanotechnology-Based Dietary Supplements, which describes problems at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in regulating nano-enabled dietary supplements and offers recommendations for improving oversight. According to the report, FDA’s ability to