The Novelty of Nano and the Regulatory Challenge of Newness
Preston, Christopher J.
Vol. 4, Num. 1
Looking at the flip side of ethics, these authors try to decipher if nanotechnologys unique set of characteristics poses not just different kinds of ethical question but also different kinds of regulatory responses. The problem the authors see is that nanotechnology often falls through the cracks of the US Environmental Protection Agencys Toxic Substances Control Act, whereby its very newness keeps it from being adequately regulated. The authors outline three ways (Size-Only, Size Plus One and Significant New Use) in which nanomaterials might be made to fall within the purview of these existent laws, though they insist that it is necessary that nanomaterials meet what they call the novelty condition and avoid what [they] call the central paradox of existing regulatory policy. With the growing popularity of nanomaterials on the market today, the authors find it paramount that the field somehow be brought under the gaze of government regulatory agencies, and post haste.