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Industry, NGOs call for nanotechnology environmental plan

Regular Nanodot readers know that we at Foresight focus more on longer-term nanotechnology, especially atomically-precise manufacturing. Yet, we joined with other nonprofits and industry to call for a better plan to address near-term nanomaterial environmental, health, and safety issues. From today’s joint press release by Environmental Defense and Dupont:

(Washington, DC – January 16, 2008) A diverse group[1] of nanotechnology stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, large and small companies and research organizations, applaud the inclusion in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 of a measure that will aid in the development and implementation of a comprehensive federal nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (EHS) research strategy.

Why? Because media and consumers tend to lump all “nanotech” together. So if they get spooked by today’s nanoparticles, more advanced nanodevices and nanosystems may be delayed as well (despite having very little in common with nanoparticles from a safety perspective). More attention to safety issues now may head off lots of problems later. —Christine

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