Risk and potential of nanotechnology

There’s been a lot of hype but there’s certainly a lot of potential for nanotechnology to address some of the real issues that are facing us as a global society which includes access to renewable energy, making much more efficient use of the renewable energy sources we have, such as solar, wind, wave, also access to more effective medicines and access to new materials that can replace some of the real materials, quite critical to modern technologies. But there are those who are so worried about the gaps in scientific knowledge about how nanotechnology works that they are calling for a temporary ban on the commercial sale of nanomaterials and many consumer goods until more research is carried out.

Labeling and levying consumers know that some products contain nanomaterials, they are highly experimental and that they might potentially have certain effects is a bare right for people. Many activists are concerned about possible contamination of the environment of the human body by nano particles. For example, carbon nanotubes that are ready used in products from tennis rackets to flame retardants.

It’s the question of whether or not these particles migrate outside of the product and end up in environment, and we don’t know that for sure because we don’t have these studies; those studies just aren’t being supported enough. If you think of, for example, the United States – there is about two billion and a half dollars a year that goes into investing in nanotechnology researching development, and out of that billion and a half dollars the government’s only approved about two or three per cent of that to go into EHS studies or Environmental, Health and Safety studies. So, we really need increased monetary funds to go towards investigating what some of this risk might be.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 at 15:11 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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