By G.P. Thomas
The American Chemical Society (ACS) Science & the Congress Project has announced a luncheon briefing on ‘Nanomaterial Safety: Do We Have the Right Tools?,’ which will be conducted in the Russell Senate Office Building Room 325 on June 27, 2012.
The ACS Science & the Congress Project and the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus will co-host this briefing. Kristen Kulinowski of Science and Technology Policy Institute at Institute for Defense Analyses will act as the moderator. Panelists to be featured will include Lynn Bergeson from Bergeson & Campbell P.C., Arturo Keller from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Richard Denison from Environmental Defense Fund. An open discussion will also be featured in the briefing.
Nanotechnology enables researchers to coax materials on a molecular scale, which means that they exploit a substance’s fundamental parameters such as surface properties, shape and size as well as modify its chemical composition to fabricate materials with exotic properties. The development of the science to produce nanomaterials had largely taken place in the 1980s, while public laws to control the safety of chemicals and materials, including the Toxic Substances Control Act, were established in the 1970s.
However, there are key questions regarding the safety of nanomaterials. Whether the perceptive and data regarding nanotechnology effectively report to polices that are devised to ensure safe development of products. Similarly, whether the existing policies efficiently handle both the potential advantages and challenges related to nanotechnology. This panel will analyze whether policymakers have the required policy and scientific mechanisms to get the benefits of nanotechnology.