ETC Expresses Concerns About Nanotechnology Released Into The Environment - New Technology

The ETC (erosion, technology and concentration) group have expressed concern regarding the world’s largest environmental release of a nanotechnology product.

In August and September, Sequoia Pacific Research, was contracted to protect from erosion more than 1,400 acres of fire-ravaged, mountainside land near Taos, New Mexico. Sequoia's product, SoilSET, was used to aid the soil-stabilization effort.  The reportedly organic and biodegradable product undergoes a 4 nm-level electrochemical reaction when mixed with water. When aerosolised and dropped from helicopters, upon mixing with water, SoilSET causes silicate particles to self-assemble and form a crystal matrix. This matrix forms a crust like mulch that remains for a year preventing erosion. During that year seeds blended into the product become new plant life in the area.

The ETC Group's concerns lie with there being no approval process for such products and that there is no information regarding the length of time the particles remain active in the soil and what long term effects it has on living soil. They are calling for an international convention for the evaluation of new technologies and hope to put it before the United Nations in 2004.

Posted 23rd October 2003

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