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February 20, 2007


EPA Issues Nanotechnology White Paper

Intra-agency group gives overview, identifies research needs for nanotech

Susan R. Morrissey

EPA's Science Policy Council released a white paper on nanotechnology on Feb. 15. The paper provides an overview of the emerging field, a description of potential benefits and risks from nanotechnology, and recommendations for research areas that need to be addressed.

The peer-reviewed paper is the product of an intra-agency working group. It is intended to lay out the scientific issues related to nanotech that EPA management must address, to support the needs of associated EPA program offices, and to share these scientific matters with stakeholders and the public.

Among the paper's recommendations are for the agency to continue performing research on risk assessment and environmental applications of nanomaterials and to provide resources and encouragement for pollution prevention, manufacturing stewardship, and sustainability in nanotech research, processes, and products. It also recommends that EPA continue to expand its collaborations with other agencies and stakeholders dealing with nanomaterial applications and potential human health and environmental implications.

The intra-agency working group also calls for the establishment of a standing committee to promote information sharing on nanotech issues and additional training for scientists and managers in this area. The white paper is available at www.epa.gov/osa/nanotech.htm.

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