Study: Law can help warn of nanotech risks
Feb 29,2008 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies said a key federal toxics law could be used to help warn the public of nanotechnology risks.

The organization, a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Pew Charitable Trusts, was formed in 2005 to address the social, political and public safety aspects of nanotechnology.

In its first legal analysis, PEN found the federal Toxics Release Inventory law could be applied to production and commercialization of nanotechnology, providing the public with more information about such revolutionary, yet still potentially risky, technologies.

But PEN said before the statute can be applied to nanomaterials, more toxicological data must be developed to better understand nanotechnology's potential human health and environmental impacts.

"The key question is whether (the Environmental Protection Agency) will make any determinations about whether particular nanomaterials constitute toxic chemicals," said Linda Breggin, one the authors of the analysis and senior attorney at the Environmental Law Institute.

More information concerning the analysis is available at

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