International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies
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International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies

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.
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Chapter 5: Nanotechnology Captured

John Miles


John Miles The emergence of nanotechnologies that truly enhance the quality of life and the development of regulations to protect the public rely vitally on the development of internationally accepted documentary standards for terminology and nomenclature and an effective international infrastructure for metrology at the nanoscale. The aim of this chapter is to describe current international work in developing physical and documentary standards for nanotechnologies, in particular that of the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) Technical Committee TC229 on documentary standards for Terminology and Nomenclature, Measurement and Characterization, Health, Safety, and the Environment and Materials Specifications. In addition, the fundamentals of nanometrology, the science of measurement at the nanoscale, are described along with the steps being taken to incorporate nanometrology into the International Measurement System. 5.1 STANDARDS FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY It is important first to clarify the difference between physical standards and documentary standards. The value of a physical quantity, such as mass, length and time, is expressed as the product of a number and a unit, where the unit is a particular example of the quantity being used as a reference. A physical standard is the actual physical realization of the unit. For example, the physical realization of the SI unit for mass, the kilogram, is an artefact made of platinum-iridium kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (the BIPM) under specified conditions. The SI is the International System of Units consisting of a coherent set of seven base units (the metre, the kilogram, the second, the ampere,...

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