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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2009 Jul;72(5):1327-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2009.04.003. Epub 2009 May 6.

Are environmental regulations keeping up with innovation? A case study of the nanotechnology industry.

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  • 1Parametrix, Inc, Toxicology and Risk Assessment Practice, USA.


Manufactured nanomaterials entered the marketplace of consumer goods in the mid-1990s. With the exception of pending reporting requirements in Canada, no new regulatory requirements have been imposed on the manufacture or use of nanomaterials or their commercial products, although in the past three years governments, industry, and nongovernmental organizations have questioned the need for new regulatory approaches. The debate hinges on whether current scientific information is sufficient for making risk-based decisions, if nanomaterial effects differ from macroscale products, and how much knowledge about potential risk governments should require before products are brought to market. The debate over when and how to regulate manufactured nanomaterials opens the door for a renewed discussion on regulatory environmental policy and suggests that the public may be demanding increased precaution and assurances from government. How government, in concert with industry and the open market, responds will set the bar for future regulations of emerging technologies.

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