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Safe Development of Nanotechnology

Organization(s) Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance
Project Description On November 15, 2007 MA OTA, with support from MassDEP, The Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, will host a conference in Marlborough, Massachusetts for both the growing nanotechnology industry in Massachusetts and other concerned parties. Nanotechnology poses tremendous possibilities for greener products and economic development. However, nanotechnology is similar to genetic modification and other new technologies in that it poses uncertain risks with a possibility of inciting fears and prohibitive ordinances. New hazards have already been documented, and there is little indication that industry is adapting to protect workers, consumers, and the environment.

The conference will present current thinking about what the proper risk assessments and protections should be, and what further tools or protocols are necessary, so that the development of new and useful products will not be impeded. The conference will feature presentations on the following topics: EPA’s White Paper; Woodrow Wilson Institute’s perspective; the Environmental Defense/Dupont Risk Assessment Framework; EU initiatives; TURI’s conference; legal, policy, and economic considerations; life-cycle perspective; the adequacy of traditional tests and test organisms; new dermal, inhalation, and ingestion risks; biodegradability; reactivity; and physical characteristics. More than 70 entities now known to be developing nanotechnology will be invited. At the conference there will be several opportunities to share information, so that the event is an exchange and open forum, as well as an opportunity to hear from experts. The goal of the event will be to extract and present practical suggestions from the presentations and to structure discussions so that they produce policy recommendations and consensus outcomes.

Project Contact
Name Rick Reibstein
Phone 617-626-1062
Project Keywords
Activity Keywords Training/workshops
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 17 No. 2, Fall 2007 [PDF]


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