Nanotechnology requires immediate changes in EPA

WASHINGTON Regulatory oversight of nanotechnology is urgently needed and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should act now, reports a new study released today. In EPA and Nanotechnology: Oversight for the 21st Century, former EPA assistant administrator for policy, planning and evaluation, J. Clarence (Terry) Davies, provides a roadmap for a new EPA to better handle the challenges of nanotechnology. New nanomaterials and nanotechnology products are entering the market each week, and an adequate oversight system is necessary to identify and minimize any adverse effects of nano materials and products on health or the environment. Davies' report sets out an agenda for creating an effective oversight system as nanotechnology advancesthe technology that some have hailed as "the next industrial revolution."

"This new report seeks to encourage EPA, Congress, and others to create an intelligent oversight approach that empowers EPA and promotes investment and innovation in new nanotechnology products and processes," said David Rejeski, director of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Wilson Center (PEN). "As both the chair and ranking minority member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology stated last year, 'Nanotechnology is an area of research that could add billions of dollars to the U.S. economy, but that won't happen if it is shrouded in uncertainty about its [environmental, health and safety] consequences.' "

The report provides a thorough analysis of how nanotechnology can serve as a catalyst for change in EPA and existing regulatory frameworks. It identifies major areas that require transformation within the agencyincluding science, program integration, personnel, international activities and program evaluation. In addition, Davies' report spells out more than 25 steps that EPA, Congress, the president, the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative and the nanotechnology industry as a whole shoul

Contact: Sharon McCarter
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

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