Nano Genie out of the Bottle

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts) compiles an inventory of nanotech-enabled consumer products, and they recently announced that they’ve identified 1,000 nano products.

Given the many concerns about effects of nanoparticles on workers’ health, human tissues, and even our water supply, it’s too soon to be using nanoparticles widely – but that’s exactly what’s already happened.

Although nanotechnologies have many potentially valuable applications (like improving monitoring and treatment of cancers), using them in products like chocolate shakes, bedsheets, teapots, and socks isn’t worth the risks.  

And, as PEN Director David Rejeski notes, it’s not as though the Food and Drug Administration or Consumer Product Safety Commission is ready to assess the safety of 1,000 new nano products.