Put nanotech safety research under one agency, report suggests

Washington – Designating a single government agency to direct safety, health and environmental research efforts on nanomaterials could help accelerate progress, a new National Research Council report suggests.

Research funding and publications on engineered nanomaterials have increased during the past 10 years, but questions remain about the materials’ risks to workers, consumers and the environment, according to Research Progress on Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials. Released Sept. 12, the report follows a 2012 report identifying high-priority research areas for nanomaterials.

“The necessary ideal of responsible development of nanotechnology is both daunting and important, but there is no doubt that it is attainable if we plan well for research and for the management of the infrastructure needed to shape and disseminate its findings,” the Sept. 12 report states.