EPA will examine nanotech environmental impacts

from the another-green-world dept.
According to a report on the Small Times website ("U.S. Regulators want to know whether nanotech can pollute", by Doug Brown, 8 March 2002), "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is gathering information on the potential perils of nanotechnology even while it's enlisting the science in its fight against pollution."

While the EPS will continue to fund research into way to use nanotechnology to clean up the environment and to prevent future environmental damage (see Foresight Update #44), the EPA will also pay for research projects that examine possible negative environmental impacts of nanotechnology, said Barbara Karn, the EPA official in charge of the agency's nanotechnology research.

A second article ("Nano litterbugs? Expers see potential pollution problems", by Doug Brown, 15 March 2002), covers a recent meeting on "Nanotechnology: Environmental Friend or Foe", held on 15 March at the EPA offices in Washington, D.C. The article includes the views of Vicki Colvin, a professor and co-director of the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (http://cnst.rice.edu/cben/) at Rice University in Texas, and Mark Wiesner, also a Rice University professor and the centerís other co-director.

(The CBEN was also the host of a workshop on the possible environmental impacts of nanotechnology in December 2001. See Nanodot post from 17 December 2001.)

The article also describes an EPA request for proposals (RFP) on "Environmental Futures Research in Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology" from the EPA National Center for Environmental Research for research related to the possible environmental impacts of nanotechnology.

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