Local Officials in U.S. Move Toward Monitoring Nanotechnologies
- URL to an interesting article in Science Daily News
Reminds me of the nightmare scenarios in Bear's Blood Music and Kevin And
erson's Ill Wind.
First few paragraphs
ScienceDaily (July 30, 2008) — State and local officials have taken steps to
begin monitoring the manufacture and storage of nanomaterials, a major step
for a cutting-edge technology that has yet to be regulated by the federal
_Matter & Energy_ (http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/matter_energy/)
* _Energy Policy_
* _Materials Science_
* _Civil Engineering_
* _Weapons Technology_
On July 28, the Cambridge (Mass.) Public Health Department recommended to the
city manager that Cambridge take several steps to gain a better
understanding of the nature and extent of nanotechnology-related activities now underway
within the city. In addition, news outlets are reporting that a key member of
California State Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic
Materials is holding meetings around the state in advance of introducing
legislation next year that may grant state regulators landmark oversight of
In 2006, Berkeley, Calif., passed the first local ordinance in the nation by
requiring handlers of nanomaterials to submit toxicology reports on the
materials to the city government.
The efforts by state and local officials come as the Project on Emerging
Nanotechnologies (PEN) recently released a report that discusses possible
options for state and local governments to follow for oversight of potential
negative impacts of nanotechnology – including local air, waste and water
regulations, as well as labeling and worker safety requirements.
"In the absence of action at the federal level, local and state governments
may begin to explore their options for oversight of nanotechnologies," says
Suellen Keiner, the author of Room at the Bottom? Potential State and Local
Strategies for Managing the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology.
Another recent PEN report, Application of the Toxics Release Inventory To
Nanomaterials, addresses the potential application of local "right-to-know" laws
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