The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: February 15, 2007
Proprietary testing won't convince public of nanotechnology's safety
(Nanowerk News) The rapid commercialization of nanotechnology means the industry needs to be proactive with regard to toxicity, environmental, and health issues, according to the head of a state group that promotes the industry.
Kelly Kordzik, president of Texas Nanotechnology Initiative sees the EPA ruling on handling nanosilver waste as "a sign that the federal government is willing to step in," if the industry doesn't provide assurances that it's enforcing safeguards on its own.
"Companies can't wait for the federal government to address these issues," said Kordzik, "we must look at these issues very seriously."
The nanotechnology industry in the United States faces stiff competition from Europe, Japan and China in fashioning new uses for the tiny particles, which are only several billionths of a meter in size.
Kordzik said the nanotechnology industry in Texas and the United States needs to work together to keep up with overseas developers.
"Companies and universities are doing significant research and collaborations in Texas," said Kordzik. "And, we're now seeing the state of Texas, its universities, and the private sector beginning to work as a team."
Kordzik was optimistic that the time is right for venture capitalists and large companies to make significant investments that will lead to what he called "clustering."
But, Kordzik expressed concern that the industry needs to make sure that adequate safeguards are in place.
"The industry needs to take a proactive role," said Kordzik.
"Proprietary testing by the manufacturers is not going to convince the public or the environmentalists that companies are being as responsible as they need to be," he said.