NRDC Comments on EPA Nanotechnology White Paper, January 2006
Report by NRDC
Vol. 0, Num. 0
Comments on US EPA External Review Draft Nanotechnology White Paper (released December, 2005) While recognizing the work that the EPA put into its draft, the NRDC asserts that the EPA fails to make effective policy and regulatory recommendations for the near-term. The NRDC details studies showing toxic effects of nanoparticle and carbon nanotubes. They cite the reports by Swiss Re and Allianz.
Worker exposure and labeling are unsolved problems. A federak cross-Agency research group needs to be established. They underscore the need for nano-specific regulations, and are skeptical of the value of voluntary compliance. They say: An array of good stewardship approaches to nanotechnology development would increase public confidence and market stability. In June, 2005 NRDC submitted comments to EPA that were signed by 20 other public interest groups. We continue to insist that such measures include: " take immediate action to prevent uses of nanomaterials that may result in human exposures or environmental releases, unless reasonable assurances of safety are demonstrated beforehand; " label products that contain nanomaterials, or are made with processes that use nanomaterial; " publicly disclose information on potential risks; " include toxicity information on nanomaterials for worker protection on material safety data sheets; " increase safety testing conducted by independent or government laboratories subject to sunshine laws that allow public access; " conduct comprehensive assessment of the environmental and human health concerns that may arise across the life cycle including production, use, and disposal of nanotech products.