No nanoworries?


I used to be concerned that inadequate precautions and safety systems were in place for the research, development, and manufacture of nanoscale products. Then I saw my worries were unwarranted. That’s because in February of last year, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the Committee on Technology (CT) of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a 102-page report entitled “Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research.” With this kind of high-level, hands-on attention and oversight, how could anything go wrong?

Imagine my shock at learning that a new, different report released in December by the National Research Council (NRC) “found serious weaknesses in the government’s plan.”

The report points out that the NNI plan does not include any “research goals to help ensure that nanotechnologies are developed and used as safely as possible.”

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