Scientists: nanotech needs urgent regulation

The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has called for urgent research into the impact of nanomaterials on humans and the environment and warned that the negative impact of nanomaterials let loose in the environment may not become obvious until years or decades later.

In its conclusions based on research about the safety of nanotechnology already published, the Commission found:

• There appears to be little consensus over the critical or even most important characteristics of manufactured nanomaterials that determine their toxicity profiles.
• Little information is available on how the various physical and chemical properties interact to generate an overall toxicity profile for a particular nanomaterial.
• There has been little attempt to use standard particles to study individual characteristics and their interactions, nor concerted attempts to develop approaches similar to quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) that are currently being used for traditional chemicals.

The RCEP report is available for download here.

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ZD Net: Pollution tzars call for ‘urgent’ nanotech regulation

To speak to an expert on nanotechnology contact the SMC on 04 499 5476 or