On September 18, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that, to ensure nanotechnology is developed in a responsible manner, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and EPA awarded $38 million to establish two Centers for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN).  EPA contributed $5 million to the overall award, which is the largest award for nanotechnology research in its history.  The CEINs will conduct research on the possible environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanomaterials, using very different approaches than previous studies. Led by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and Duke University, the CEINs will study how nanomaterials interact with the environment and human health, and are intended to result in better risk assessment and mitigation strategies to be used in the commercial development of nanotechnology.  Each CEIN will work as a network, connected to multiple research organizations, industry, and government agencies, and will emphasize interdisciplinary research and education.

Continue Reading EPA Announces Centers for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology

In its latest Background Paper, entitled Mounting Evidence That Carbon Nanotubes May Be the New Asbestos, Friends of the Earth Australia (FOEA) is calling “for an immediate moratorium on the commercial use of carbon nanotubes and the sale of products that incorporate nanotubes until research can demonstrate whether or not there is any safe level of exposure to them.”   FOEA also is calling for new nanotechnology-specific regulation to protect human health and the environment, as well as for mandatory labeling of all nanoscale materials used in the workplace and in consumer products.

Continue Reading Friends of the Earth Australia Calls for an Immediate Moratorium on the Use of Carbon Nanotubes

On April 25, 2008, the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) will hold a conference entitled “The Future of Nanotechnology: A Legislative Summit.” The conference sponsors include California Assembly Member Mike Feuer (AD 42-D), Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR), State Government Relations (SGR), and CNSI. Panelists include Lenny Rome, Ph.D.; Andre Nel, Ph.D., MD

A recent report released by Friends of the Earth (FOE) calls for a moratorium “on the further commercial release of food products, food packaging, food contact materials and agrochemicals that contain manufactured nanomaterials until nanotechnology-specific safety laws are established and the public is involved in decision making.” The report, entitled Out of the Laboratory and on

According to a report recently released by the Danish Ministry of Health and Prevention, nanotechnology research, development, and applications are covered by existing legislation. The report, which includes an English summary, reviews existing national and international legislation in the areas of foods, medicines, the environment, chemicals, and the working environment in relation to current knowledge of nanotechnological products and processes.  The report also includes a chapter on national and international research policy activities, and describes the initiatives, working groups, and network groups the relevant government departments are taking part in, both nationally and internationally. The working group that prepared the report included representatives from the Ministry of the Interior and Health, the Danish Board of Health, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, the Danish Medicines Agency, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark, the Danish Agency for Science, Technology, and Innovation, the Danish Working Environment Authority, and Danish Standards.
Continue Reading Danish Report Finds Nanotechnology Covered by Existing Legislation

On October 25-26, 2007, the European Commission (EC) held the First Annual Nanotechnology Safety for Success Dialogue. Presentations included:

The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin/BAuA) (FIOSH) and the German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie/VCI) (GCIA) have issued draft document entitled Guidance for Handling and Use of Nanomaterials at the Workplace. The Guidance is intended to provide an overview of occupational health and safety measures in

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted on October 9, 2007, a seminar on the Responsible NanoCode, a voluntary, principles-based Code of Conduct for entities involved in the research, development, manufacture, and retail sale of products using nanotechnologies. The draft Code was developed by a working group