NSTI Nanotech 2009

A Comprehensive Regulatory Policy Analysis

N. Horne
Goldman School of Public Policy, US

Keywords: regulation, policy, economic analysis, codes of conduct, EU, U.S., self-regulation


Nanotechnology faces three significant challenges. First, the industry faces economic challenges due to increasing risk uncertainty, inefficient commercialization, and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) externalities. Secondly, legal challenges stem from a legal framework that fails to adequately address unique nanomaterial properties and a lack of scientific research to adequately define risk and to inform more effective regulation. Finally, the U.S. and the EU have built a strong consensus that current frameworks are sufficient, yet there is an increasing likelihood of standards disharmonization. In response, this assessment flows from a detailed comprehensive analysis of the existing regulatory framework in the U.S. and the EU, focusing on a systematic comparison of 29 U.S and 26 EU consumer, worker, environmental, intellectual property, and standards and measurements laws. The resulting work creates a clear picture of current challenges and the need for an integrated public-private regulatory framework in order to manage risk efficiently in the face of insufficient scientific data to properly develop new regulation. Our analysis will include 1st-order analysis in order to demonstrate the most efficient options. This toolkit includes public policies that reduce information asymmetry and incentivize private risk management practices to better protect consumers, workers, the environment, and industry.
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