Oversight of Nanomaterials in Consumer Products: Challenges and Necessary Amendments
George A. Kimbrell The International Center for Technology Assessment February 8, 2007 Intertech Pira Regulationfor Nanotechnology in Consumer Products Washington, D.C.
CTA is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to providing the public with full assessments and analyses oftechnological impacts on society. CTA explores the environmental, human health, economic, ethical, social and political impacts that can result from the applications of technology or technologicalsystems such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and climate change technologies.
“Federal and state regulators . . .have so far been happy to sponsor meetings and studies that call for regulation butnotably reluctant to engage in any. A very small fraction of the billions of dollars being invested in nanotechnology research is being used to ferret out potential risks.” - Barnaby Feder,Teeny-Weeny Rules for Itty-Bitty Atom Clusters, New York Times, January 16, 2007
I. Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials in Consumer Products: The Future is Now II. Current Developments in Oversight ofNanomaterials in Consumer Products (FDA, EPA, other) III. Conclusions and Lessons for Gov’t Officials and Industry
R&D surging: global nanotech R&D= $9 billion, with $1 trillion estimated for 2015 (LuxResearch 2006) Term “nano” approaches ubiquitous status in U.S. society and media (>18,000 citations in U.S. media in 2005) The “gold rush” for nano-patents continues- over 4,000 U.S. patents issued todate (Lux Research 2006) Perhaps most importantly, nanotechnology commercialization is moving forward at a rapid rate…
(Photo by David Hawxhurst-Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.)!
Wilson Center’s Consumer Product Datebase:
largest single category (125 products) is health and fitness (including sunscreens, cosmetics, and other personal care products).
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