FOEA Emerging tech Project

New studies show environmental and health risks of nanomaterials

While the rate of commercialisation of products containing nanomaterials accelerates rapidly, the environmental, health and safety studies that should have been done before commercial release occurs are only slowly appearing. Two recent studies demonstrate how little we know about the potential risks associated with nanomaterials and how poorly our regulators are managing those risks. A recent US study looked at the extent of exposure and...

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Time for a ban on certain sorts of genetic engineering?

Scientists recently captured mainstream media attention with calls for a ban on human germline editing  Рthe genetic engineering of human DNA passed on from one generation to the next. The scientists are deeply concerned about the ethical and safety implications of research involving the genetic engineering of human embryos. They argue that such research could result in unexpected effects in future generations making them “dangerous and...

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US regulator proposes nano reporting requirements whilst Australian regulators remain asleep

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed reporting requirements on companies manufacturing and importing nanoscale chemicals to gather vital information on the volumes produced, exposure levels, and any environmental health and safety risks. Meanwhile, in Australia, plans to regulate nano forms of existing chemicals seem to have been abandoned. This proposed data gathering exercise is an acknowledgement by the US Government...

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