Responding to a series of AOL News articles questioning the oversight of nanotechnology product safety, nanoTox COO Greg King said that nano-product companies will need to confront possible negative perceptions directly to avoid the kinds of public outcry experienced by bioengineered food companies in the past.
"It's in people's nature to fear the unknown," said King. "And while companies may not be able to educate everyone in the complexities of nanotechnology, they can turn safety concerns to their advantage by being transparent about its use in their products, documenting their careful research and emphasizing concern over human and environment health."
King was responding to AOL News and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Andrew Schneider, who published a series entitled "The Nanotech Gamble" which explored possible risks that may accompany nanotechnology research and product development. Schneider's series was greeted with concern by most in the U.S. nanoproduct industry.
"Schneider's articles expresses quite well the public's concern about nanomaterials." King added. "No new technology gains wide consumer acceptance until potential safety concerns are addressed and resolved.
"Companies wanting to successfully commercialize products that contain nanomaterials will need to address those safety concerns. This is especially true for nanoproducts that have direct human contact, such as textiles, foods, medicines, cosmetics, personal care products. The companies that can demonstrate that their products are safe will have a competitive advantage."
King is the author of several articles on nanotechnology risk management and nanotechnology regulation. King's company, nanoTox, is the first to provide complete risk assessment and solutions exclusively for nanoparticles.
"The nanotech revolution is one of the best opportunities for cosmetic, food, and other companies incorporating nanoparticles to build new trust with their existing and future customers," said King. "By showing that they are ahead of the game, they can inoculate themselves against negative perceptions and even champion themselves as leaders in product safety."