February 26, 2009
Revisiting the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976
Today the U.S. House of Representatives began the process of re-examining the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. According to the the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, “The hearing will address critical gaps in the statute and explore how these gaps hinder effective chemical safety policy in the United States.”
February 11, 2009
Stimulus Debate Highlights Need for Focus on Nanotech Risks
The nearly $800 billion stimulus package being debated in Congress contains a number of measures intended to improve information technology, infrastructure and the energy economy in the United States – all areas that will be greatly aided by nanotechnology. Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation that makes the importance of understanding the possible risks posed by engineered nanomaterials a centerpiece of the goverment’s reauthorization of funding for nanotechnology research. The bill highlights the growing need to learn more about the possible environmental, health and safety dangers posed by some nanoscale materials.
February 4, 2009
Nanotechnology and the Consumer
What is nanotechnology? How will it affect our lives? And, why should we care? These are just a few of the questions addressed in Talking Nano, a wide-ranging 6-DVD series released by the Boston Museum of Science. The set that includes presentations by noted researchers with a consumer products lecture by Project director David Rejeski.
January 28, 2009
World’s First Mandatory National Nanotech Requirement Pending
Canada is reportedly planning in February to become the first nation in the world to require companies to detail their use of engineered nanomaterials. The information gathered under the requirement will be used to evaluate the risks of engineered nanomaterials and will help to develop appropriate safety measures to protect human health and the environment.
January 27, 2009
Ethical Evaluations of Nanotechnology
Recent action in Congress to reauthorize the U.S. federal nanotechnology research program offers the chance to address the social and ethical issues concerning the emerging scientific field, experts say. “It is crucial to address social and ethical issues now as we consider both the substantial potential risks of nanotechnology and its possible significant contributions to our well-being and environmental sustainability,” says Ronald Sandler, Northeastern University philosophy professor and author of a new report released today by the Project.
January 15, 2009
Nanotech Safety High on Congress’ Priority List
The House Science and Technology Committee introduced legislation today that highlights the growing attention on Capitol Hill to the need to strengthen federal efforts to learn more about the potential environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks posed by engineered nanomaterials.Introduction of the bill comes only months after J. Clarence (Terry) Davies authored a report that makes a series of recommendations for improving federal risk research and oversight of engineered nanomaterials at EPA, the FDA and the CPSC.
January 14, 2009
Getting Your Daily Dose of Nano?
The ability of the FDA to regulate the safety of dietary supplements using nanomaterials is severely limited by lack of information, lack of resources and the agency’s lack of statutory authority in certain critical areas, according to: A Hard Pill To Swallow: Barriers to Effective FDA Regulation of Nanotechnology-Based Dietary Supplements, a new report by former FDA officials William B. Schultz and Lisa Barclay.
December 18, 2008
Experts Argue Nano Food-Additives Require New Oversight
Nanotechnology policy experts are urging that food additives containing nanoscale materials be subject to new safety testing to ensure that their use does not pose unintended risks. The call comes as nanotechnology emerges as a major regulatory challenge facing the incoming Obama administration.
December 10, 2008
Panel Blasts Federal Nanotech Risk Research Strategy
A National Research Council committee today issued a highly critical report describing serious shortfalls in the Bush administration’s strategy to better understand the environment, health and safety risks of nanotechnology and to effectively manage those potential risks. The report calls for a significantly revamped national strategic plan that will minimize potential risks so that innovation will flourish and society will reap nanotechnology’s benefits.
October 14, 2008
The Frontiers of Nanotechnology
The future of how the world communicates, and how we power our lives, will likely come from the same source: nanotechnology. According to the latest NanoFrontiers newsletter and Trips to the Nanofrontier podcast, nanotechnology will be central to developing and using new electronics and energy technologies in the 21st Century.
September 30, 2008
Nanotech and Synbio: Americans Don’t Know What’s Coming
A groundbreaking poll has found that almost half of U.S. adults have heard nothing about nanotechnology, and nearly nine in 10 Americans say they have heard just a little or nothing at all about the emerging field of synthetic biology. This new insight into limited public awareness of emerging technologies comes on the cusp of a major leadership change in the nation’s capital.
September 9, 2008
Nanoscale Silver: No Silver Lining?
Widespread use of nanoscale silver will challenge regulatory agencies to balance important potential benefits against the possibility of significant environmental risk, highlighting the need to identify research priorities concerning this emerging technology, according to a new report by Dr. Samuel Luoma. Existing information about the impact of silver on the environment offers a starting point for some assessments of nanosilver, the report argues.
September 8, 2008
Nanotechnology and the FDA: Size Matters!
In July 2007 the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued its Nanotechnology Task Force Report. This report acknowledged that nanoscale materials potentially could be used in most product types regulated by the agency and that those materials present challenges complicated by the fact that properties relevant to product safety and effectiveness may change as size varies within the nanoscale.
August 21, 2008
Consumer Product Safety Commission Not Ready For Nanotech
The inability of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to carry out its mandate with respect to simple, low-tech products such as children’s jewelry and toy trains bodes poorly for its ability to oversee the safety of complex, high-tech products made using nanotechnology, according to a new report written by consumer product expert and Harvard lecturer E. Marla Felcher.