Regulations in nanotech

It seems that testing and regulation is not keeping up with the fast pace of innovation. Nano materials have properties that allow them to get in the places in the human body that larger materials don’t. So if they get suspended in the air, for example, they can be breathed down and get very deep into the lung and cross the lung into blood and then circulate freely in the body and potentially cause effects in any organ in the body. So, it’s a combination of novel toxicity of some of these materials coupled with an enhanced potential for them to get in the places where we wouldn’t necessarily want them to get.

So, now nano particles have become available in such a wide range of everyday products many environment list governments and scientists want to see tougher regulations being imposed to assess possible risks and to inform consumers which are current regulations governing the safety of food, cosmetics and other consumer products are not specific enough to deal properly with the threats posed by nanotechnology.

It’s a combination of the fact that the science is still evolving and therefore we have not enough to go on to develop a good regulatory system, but also the fact that the regulatory systems we have in place frequently don’t require sufficient testing of these materials and a demonstration of their safety before they are allowed into the market. But while the science is still developing and regulation is struggling to keep scientists working in the world of the extremely small have big hopes about how it might help humanity in future.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, November 28th, 2009 at 17:20 and is filed under Nanotechnology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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