FoE Australia has joined two international coalitions of NGOs, the European Environmental Bureau and the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) Nanotechnology Working Group, to challenge industry claims about nanotechnology and the environment.

We point out that nanotechnology’s environmental ‘costs’ are rarely acknowledged, while ‘benefits’ claimed are often exaggerated, untested, and are, in many cases, years away from realisation. Our concerns about the potential negative environmental impacts and costs are made worse by the apparent reluctance of governments to develop appropriate and responsible oversight mechanisms in a timely fashion.

IPEN is a global network of more than 700 public interest non-governmental organizations working together in over 80 countries for a toxic free future. IPEN has established a nano-working group, which coordinates the actions and activities of public interest organizations around the world in the field of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials. Members include IPEN participating organizations such as the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), the National Toxic Network, the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE), Women in Europe for Common Future (WECF), the Island Sustainability alliance, BUND, Sciencecorps as well as a number of other organizations including Friends of the Earth Australia and US, and the ETC Group.

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is the environmental voice of European citizens, standing for environmental justice, sustainable development and participatory democracy. We want the EU to ensure all people a healthy environment and rich biodiversity. We are Europe’s largest federation of environmental citizens’ organisations, representing over 145 organisations in 31 countries.