Table of Contents

International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies

International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies

Elgar original reference

Edited by Graeme A. Hodge, Diana M. Bowman and Andrew D. Maynard

As scientists and technologists discover how to engineer matter at the nanoscale in increasingly sophisticated ways, conventional approaches to ensuring safe use are being brought into question. Nanotechnologies are challenging traditional regulatory regimes; but they are also prompting new thinking on developing and using emerging technologies safely. In this Handbook, leading international authors from industry, government, non-governmental organisations and academia examine the complex and often controversial regulatory challenges presented by nanotechnologies. Across several disciplinary boundaries, they explore how the future regulatory landscape may evolve. From the Europe Union to the United States, workplaces to personal products, and statutory instruments through to softer approaches, it is clear that considerable vigilance will be needed in governing these powerful and novel technologies. To succeed, society will need new thinking, new partnerships and new mechanisms to balance the benefits of these technologies against their possible downsides. Anything less will prompt cries of illegitimacy and potentially compromise a promising new realm of technology innovation.

Chapter 10: The Evolving Nanotechnology Environmental, Health, and Safety Landscape: A Business Perspective

Oliver Tassinari, Jurron Bradley and Michael Holman

Subjects: innovation and technology, technology and ict

Extract

Oliver Tassinari, Jurron Bradley and Michael Holman The emerging technologies business consultancy firm Lux Research has tracked the significance and impact of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) issues on nanotechnology commercialization for a number of years. Through a series of analyses (see, for example, Lux Research, 2006, 2007, 2008a, 2008b, 2009) the firm has provided insight into the EHS issues facing companies investing in nanotechnology, including evaluating the state of the science, identifying critical knowledge gaps, and advising the business community on prudent courses of action. This chapter is based on the firm’s 2009 report Nanotech’s Evolving Environmental, Health, and Safety Landscape: The Regulations Are Coming (Lux Research, 2009). 10.1 INTRODUCTION The successful commercialization of nanomaterials will depend on managing three aspects of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) issues: real risks, perceptual risks and regulations. Real risks – associated with the quantifiable possibility of new materials, products and processes to cause harm – have received increasing attention within the global research community in recent years (see, for example, Lux Research, 2006, 2007, 2008a, 2008b. See also National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, 2003; European Commission, 2005; Maynard et al., 2006; National Science and Technology Council, 2008). Research efforts have included continued progress on data-gathering efforts and a push towards global coordination and standardization of risk assessment in order to assist regulators enact and implement nanotechnology-specific policies (Murashov and Howard, 2008). More recently there has been increasing coordination between bodies and jurisdictions, with multi-lateral organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)...

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