Nanotechnology: more investment needed to assess risks (11/06)
Maynardâ€™s article, Nanotechnology: The Next Big Thing, or Much Ado about Nothing?, released late last month by the Annals of Occupational Hygiene (Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society), noted that little is known about potential risks in many areas of nanotechnology, and funding for risk-focused research is a small fraction of what is being spent on nanotechnology commercial applications. The report concludes that greater resources and attention are needed now in order to ensure safe nano-workplaces today and in the future.
â€œBecause nanotechnology is a way of doing or making things rather than a discrete technology, there will never be a one-solution-fits-all approach for nanotechnology and nanomaterials workplace safety,â€ wrote Maynard. â€œThat is why the federal government needs to invest a minimum of $100 million over two years in targeted risk research in order to begin to fill in our occupational safety knowledge gaps and to lay a strong, science-based foundation for safe nanotechnology workplaces.â€
The article will appear in print in January 2007 and currently is freely available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mel071.