Corporate standards of care needed for nanotech

Also in the Summer 2005 Issues in Science and Technology is an article from Environmental Defense giving many recommendations for improved nanotech policies, including: “Develop corporate standards of care. Even under the most optimistic scenario, it appears unlikely that federal agencies will put into place adequate provisions for nanomaterials quickly enough to address the materials now entering or poised to enter the market. Out of enlightened self-interest, industry must take the lead in evaluating and managing nanomaterial risks for the near term, working with other stakeholders to quickly establish and implement life cycle-based “standards of care” for nanomaterials. These standards should include a framework and a process by which to identify and manage nanomaterials’ risks across a product’s full life cycle, taking into account worker safety, manufacturing releases and wastes, product use, and product disposal. Standards of care should also include and be responsive to feedback mechanisms, including environmental and health monitoring programs to check the accuracy of the assumptions about a material’s risks and the effectiveness of risk management practices. Such standards should be developed and implemented in a transparent and accountable manner, including by publicly disclosing the assumptions, processes, and results of the risk identification and risk management systems.” Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any way to read this article online yet. The Lane/Kalil article mentioned earlier is posted as a free sample for this issue.

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