Nanotechnology benefits humanity without negative implications for health and the environment?
Dear Colleagues,

Please let me know who might be interested in this fairly new area in Russia. I would be prepared to try to connect them with international programs and suggest names of those from Russia to be included in international panels. I start getting such queries.
In addition, would there be any experts interested to participate in the international survey (Round 2) ' Environmental Pollution and Health Hazards Resulting From Military Uses of Nanotechnology' and, naturally, get its results? Is there any need to get the questionnaire translated into Russian? The translation can be easily and quickly done and even placed on the UNU Millennium project Internet site to place your responses there.
Looking forward to hearing from you,

Renat Perelet,
member of the Russian Ecological Academy,
EC FP-6 National Contact Point,
UNU Millennium Project Consultant;
Research leader,
Institute for Systems Analysis,
Russian Academy of Sciences

International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) Created

The International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) is a coalition of academic, industry, regulatory, and non-governmental organizations working together to ensure that nanotechnology benefits humanity without negative implications for health and the environment. ICON activitiesТ categories include: science and engineering research into the potential environmental and health impacts of engineered nanostructures; social science research into public perceptions toward new technology, and the role that regulatory and other governmental policies can and should play in nanotechnology stewardship; collaborative policy activities that develop international standards for engineered nanostructure terminology and metrology, safety guidelines, and best laboratory practices; public communication and outreach that tracks all relevant technical data on nanotechnology's potential risks and presents this information in terms and formats that are accessible by laypersons. ICON is located and coordinated by The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) at Rice University.

About ICON

CBEN launches partnership for sustainable nanotechnology Broad coalition will work together to ensure tiny tech benefits human health and the environment

Wise-Nano Project of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
The Wise-Nano project of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology is a collaborative website for researchers from around the world addressing the facts and implications of advanced nanotechnology and what to do about them.

Wise-Nano project

Studies on Environmental Impacts of Nanotechnology
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded 12 grants to universities to investigate the potential health and environmental impacts of nanomaterials. Six of the grants awarded will investigate if manufactured nanomaterials could have any negative health effects or environmental impacts, while the other six grants will study the fate and transport of nanomaterials in the environment. The grants were awarded through EPA's Science to Achieve Results research grants program.

The National Toxicology Program, a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, will be conducting animal studies to investigate the effects of nanoparticles in the lungs and on the skin, and their uptake and distribution into and through the body.

Other U.S. agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, have also begun to pay attention to the field.

Military Implications:
Military nanotechnology R&D agencies and labs should follow the outcomes of these studies and take necessary actions and adjust their research accordingly. Also, they should inform their respective contractors and modify the products they eventually already use, based on to the outcomes of these and other similar nanotech risk assessment studies.

EPA Backs Nanomaterial Safety Research. Activists Say $4 Million Is Far Too Little for Studies By Rick Weiss, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, November 12, 2004; Page A23 (free subscription required).

2003 Exploratory Research to Anticipate Future Environmental Issues: Impacts of Manufactured Nanomaterials on Human Health and the Environment. STAR Recipients

ETC Report on Nanotechnology Impact on Food and Agriculture
The ETC Group recently released a report, "Down on the Farm: The Impact of Nano-Scale Technologies on Food and Agriculture", that addresses nanotechnologiesТ impact on farmers, food and agriculture. The report recommends that until the clear implications of nanotechnology use in agriculture and food chain are known, its use be guided by the Precautionary Principle or even prohibited until a regulatory regime specifically designed to examine these nano-scale products finds them safe. The report also addresses the Сgreen gooТ issue related to potential dangers associated with synthetic biology or nanobiotechnology and, given the extreme risks (that even mainstream scientists are beginning to acknowledge), calls for an immediate moratorium on laboratory experimentation and environmental release of these materials until there is thorough knowledge of their health, environmental and socio-economic implications.

Military Implications:
The nanotechnology and synthetic biology debate may become more complex than the GMO debate. It is likely that international agreements and regulations for the production, use, and commercialization of nano-scale-based products will emerge. Military nanotechnology R&D agencies and labs should intensify their efforts in health, environmental and socio-economic implications of the new technology and be prepared to eventually defend some of the products they already use.

Down on the Farm: The Impact of Nano-scale Technologies on Food and Agriculture (Summery)
Down on the Farm: The Impact of Nano-scale Technologies on Food and Agriculture (Full report)

Renat Perelet, 13.12.2004
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