Electronic Design

Groups Release Guidelines For Nanotechnology Safety

DuPont and Environmental Defense today released guidelines for the safe development and use of nanotechnology. The "Nano Risk Framework" outlines methods of addressing the environmental, health and safety risks of nanomaterials across all stages of a product's lifecycle—from initial sourcing through manufacture, use, and recycling or disposal. "Nanotechnology has the potential to unleash innovations in materials, energy, and other fields that could lead to powerful environmental and health benefits," Gwen Ruta, director of corporate partnerships at Environmental Defense, said in a statement. "Our intent is to help reap the full promise of this technology without creating unintended consequences. We want to get this right the first time around." The guidelines—created with the input of NGOs, government officials, companies and academics—outline keys to understanding potential risks of nanomaterials. These include: developing informational profiles (or "base sets") of the properties, hazards, and exposures associated with a given nanomaterial and guidance on developing more detailed information on physical-chemical properties, ecotoxicity and environmental fate. DuPont and Environmental Defense began the partnership on nanotechnology in September 2005.

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