BBC News reports that a group of five researchers has come up with a list of five challenges to be met by nanotechnology if it is to be considered safe. The researchers’ commentary has been published in the November 16th issue of the journal Nature (v.444). If you have institutional access to Nature, you can read their commentary at the link provided, otherwise you can read their points at the BBC news site.
Their commentary discusses the need for nanotechnology researchers to seriously consider the risks inherent in this technology and how to avoid those risks. The five challenges that nanotechnology needs to “pass” are:
- Develop instruments to assess exposure to engineered nanomaterials in air and water within next 3-10 years
- Create and test ways of evaluating the toxicity of nanomaterials in 5-15 years
- Generate models to predict their possible impact on the environment and human health over the next 10 years
- Develop ways to assess the health and environmental impact of nanomaterials over their entire lifetime, within the next five years
- Organise programmes to enable risk-focused research into nanomaterials, within the next 12 months