2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

A Framework for Responsible Nanotechnology

S. Walsh and T. Medley
Environmental Defense, US

Keywords:
environment, health, safety, risk, guidance

Abstract:
Environmental Defense, an environmental advocacy organization, and DuPont, a science company, have developed a comprehensive, practical, and flexible framework for evaluating and addressing the potential risks of nanoscale materials. The draft framework is available for review and comment at www.nanoriskframework.com. We presented an overview of our concept for this framework at last year's NSTI conference. This year, we would like to present the greater detail on the full framework, focusing on the new and different elements that distinguish this framework from other risk management frameworks. For example, our framework recommends base sets of information on the properties, hazards, and exposures associated with a particular material or application; an iterative process for continual improvement; a flexible process to move ahead without complete information; and a tool to organize, document and communicate risk management information. We believe that the adoption of this framework can promote responsible development of nanotechnology products, facilitate public acceptance, and support the development of a practical model for reasonable government policy on nanotechnology safety. We have solicited and incorporated feedback on our overall approach from a wide range of stakeholders, and we are now pilot-testing the framework on several materials and applications, at various stages of development.

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