Report Faults U.S. Strategy for Nanotoxicology Research

Publication: Science Magazine

Author: Robert F. Service


12/19/2008 - The U.S. government lacks an effective plan for ensuring the safety of nanotechnology, a new report by the National Research Council (NRC) concludes. The report, released last week, finds that the current plan for coordinating federal research on environmental, health, and safety (EHS) risks of nanotechnology amounts to an ad hoc collection of research priorities from the 25 federal agencies that make up the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), which coordinates federal nanotech programs. What's needed, it argues, are an overall vision and a plan for how to get there and to come up with the money to do so.

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The new report is something of a vindication, says Andrew Maynard, chief scientist at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars' Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies in Washington, D.C. "It shows we haven't been out on a limb for the last few years," Maynard says. Maynard has long criticized coordination of EHS research under NNI and served on the NRC panel that wrote the report. "Now the government needs to decide who needs to do what risk research and where the money is going to come from."

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Read the full article Report Faults U.S. Strategy for Nanotoxicology Research on Science Magazine's Web site.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies on PewHealth.org.

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