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Posted: April 27, 2009
Who should help support nanotechnology regulation?
(Nanowerk News) Who should be responsible for regulating the use of nanomaterials, especially in light of the potential environmental impact of such materials?
The issue is explored in a recent Nano Today magazine article by Jonathan Posner, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Jameson Wetmore, an assistant professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change ("Should corporations contribute to nano-regulation?").
The U.S. Department of Energy is involved in a major project to learn how engineered nanomaterials used in of many of today’s common products are transported in our environment -- and to determine what will happen as the nanomaterials make their way into rivers, oceans, soil, plants and animals.
Posner and Wetmore discuss how regulations should be guided by a scientific consensus about the environmental impact of the materials, and they make the case that corporations – the primary sources of the manufacture and use of engineered nanomaterials -- should contribute to efforts to do the environmental science necessary to provide a well-reasoned guide for debates on regulation policy.