Environmental, health and safety aspects of nanotechnology - implications for the R&D in (small) companies

Publisher:
Elsevier Sci Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Science And Technology Of Advanced Materials, 2007, 8 (1-2), pp. 12 - 18
Issue Date:
2007-01
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The growth of nanotechnology has led to an unprecedented research and development effort in both the public and the private sectors; world wide, an increasing number of laboratories, fabrication and manufacturing plants develop or apply novel nanometre-sized materials for applications ranging from large-scale industrial materials to electronic components and heathcare and medical products; an increasing number of start-ups have veen launched to establish their nanotechnology-based products in a trillion-dollar market. Very little, however, is known about the inetraction of man-made nanostructured materials and living organisms, as studies of nanotoxicology are gaining increasing interest, but are still in their infacny. Despite the formation of many ofcus and lobbying groups, proper legislation of the environmental, health and safety aspects of nanotechnology wil tka eyears to be implemented, In the menatime, it is of utmost importance tat companies working with nanometre-sized matter take appropriate precautions to protect their staff, the environment and customer. Toxicology tests and agency approval of new nanometre-sized materials are prohibitively expensive, but, even if working on a tight budget, nanotechnology companies can acheive an ethical and safe business conduct via a number of possible routes.
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