Nanoparticles in regulatory spotlight

Janet Babin Jul 26, 2007
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Nanoparticles in regulatory spotlight

Janet Babin Jul 26, 2007
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Doug Krizner: At least 500 products on the market today contain nanoparticles — they’re in things from cosmetics to medical devices. A report today suggests regulators need to consider what happens when these products die.

Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace innovations desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: Here’s the easiest way to imagine how small a nanoparticle is: by the time I’ve finished with this sentence, your hair will have grown by about a 100 nanometers.

A report out today says sometimes these sub-microscopic materials can defy standard physics. So where they end up in the environment needs special regulatory attention.

Andrew Maynard is with Project for Emerging Nanotechnologies, the group that wrote the report:

Andrew Maynard: We’ve got to ask questions about how the size of these nanoscale materials is going to effect they’re transport through the environment, including waterways, and how they’re going to effect ecosystems and organisms within the environment in a way that more conventional materials do not.

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration released recommendations on nanomaterials. So far, the agency said it won’t require special regulations or labeling for nanoproducts. The Environmental Protection Agency would have to weigh in on how to safely dispose of nanomaterials.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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