Greenpeace has commissioned a report into the impact of nanotechnology on the environment. Well known for their opposition to technological advances in certain areas, like genetically modified crops and nuclear power, Greenpeace are not against all scientific development. They fully support areas such as renewable energy and waste treatment technologies and sought a comprehensive review of nanotechnology and the associated risks and positive aspects of the technology.
The Imperial College in London was asked to examine existing applications and current research and development along with the main players in the fields of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence/robotics.
They found that the environment could both benefit or be harmed by the technology depending upon the research priorities currently being pursued by companies and Governments. Faster computers and medical diagnostic aids were earmarked as being the initial applications to benefit, with major developments in telecommunications, computing, pharmaceuticals, warfare and energy sectors to follow.
Their concerns are based around the unknown toxic potential of nanoparticles.