Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Environmental Defense & DuPont Release Nano Risk Framework

Feb 26: Environmental Defense and DuPont announced the public release of a draft version of the Nano Risk Framework - a framework for the responsible development, production, use and disposal of nano-scale materials. They are seeking feedback on the draft to "make this framework as effective, practical, and useful for as wide an audience as possible. Feedback on the draft is requested by Friday, March 30, 2007.

The intent of the framework is to define a systematic and disciplined process that can be used to identify, manage and reduce potential environmental, health and safety risks of nano-scale materials across all lifecycle stages to help ensure that nanotechnology’s benefits are maximized while the potential risks are effectively assessed and managed. According to an announcement, one of the main goals in the development of the framework has been "to do so in an open, transparent manner with other groups, companies and institutions who are also working to assess the potential risks and benefits of nano-materials." They said feedback will enable them to refine the framework to ensure that the final version - scheduled to be released this summer - is a user-friendly, comprehensive tool for businesses, governments, non- profits, university interests and others.

The partnership to develop the Framework began on September 1, 2005. A multidisciplinary team was assembled, drawing from both organizations, with expertise in biochemistry, toxicology, environmental sciences and engineering, medicine, occupational safety and health, environmental law and regulations, product development, and business development. During the development the organizations have solicited and incorporated feedback on the overall approach from a wide and international range of stakeholders (large and small companies, government agencies, universities, and public-interest groups). Pilot-testing of the Framework is now underway on several materials and applications, at various stages of development, to ensure that our approach is flexible, practical, affordable, and effective.

Access the release announcement (
click here). Access the 87-page Nano Risk Framework website to access the draft Framework and submit feedback (click here). [*All]