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Nanotechnology regulations at city level: Unhelpful

Red Herring reports that the city of Berkeley, California, has voted to approve its own nanoparticle regulations:

On Tuesday night the Berkeley, California City Council passed an ordinance to regulate the use of manufactured nanoparticles, tiny subatomic [sic] materials that can be 100,000 times smaller than the width of human hair…

Now the city will amend its municipal code to ask companies or laboratories that manufacture or deal with nanoparticles to provide information about the safety of the particles, and how they plan to monitor them…

But Mr. Al-Hadithy also admits that he doesn’t know of any manufacturers of nanoparticles in the Berkeley area. He says the city just wants companies and laboratories to start answering questions about nanotechnology use so as to begin the conversation about its regulation on a national and international scale.

Earth to Berkeley: that conversation has already begun. Rather than require symbolic paperwork, why not take the money being spent on this and put it somewhere that might do some good, such as ICON or Foresight? —Christine

One Response to “Nanotechnology regulations at city level: Unhelpful”

  1. John C. Monica, Jr. Says:

    The nano-operations at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Labs, both within Berkeley’s city limits, are most likely exempt from the ordinance because they are federally funded. However, I believe there are a few small companies using engineered nanoparticles within Berkeley’s city limits that are arguably subject to the new ordinance. It will be interesting to see whether any new nanotechnology companies choose to locate in Berkeley given the ordinance. Doubtful.

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