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Posted: January 16, 2008
Stakeholders applaud measure to develop nanotechnology EHS research roadmap
(Nanowerk News) A diverse group of nanotechnology stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, large and small companies and research organizations, applaud the inclusion in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 of a measure that will aid in the development and implementation of a comprehensive federal nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (EHS) research strategy.
The legislation, signed by President Bush on December 26, 2007, expresses Congress’ intent that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contract with the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) to “develop and monitor implementation of a comprehensive, prioritized research roadmap for all Federal agencies on environmental, health and safety issues for nanotechnology.” Under the provision included in the legislation, Congress urges EPA “to contract or enter into a cooperative agreement with the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology within 90 days of enactment” (by March 21, 2008) to develop and monitor implementation of the research strategy.
The diverse group that urged the Congressional measure is mindful of the significant efforts of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, but strongly believes that a comprehensive, independently developed research roadmap is urgently needed to identify the federal resources required to address the EHS implications of nanotechnology.
BEST’s groundbreaking work in devising and overseeing EPA’s research on the health effects of airborne particulate matter serves as a useful model for the work BEST is expected to undertake for nanotechnology EHS research. We anticipate that BEST will build upon its experience while taking into account ongoing related efforts, to develop and oversee execution of an integrated strategy to guide federal EHS research needed to support the safe development and use of engineered nanoscale materials and technologies.