The American Chemistry Council (ACC) testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology emphasizing the importance of significant and sustained federal support for developing and implementing a comprehensive nanotechnology research strategy, particularly in areas of worker safety, human health, and the environment (EHS). Federal government support for a comprehensive EHS research agenda is essential to the sustained and responsible development of nanotechnology.
“I would like to emphasize that improved federal coordination and support are essential for the responsible development of nanotechnology and its commercial acceptance,” stated Paul Ziegler, Chairman of ACC’s Nanotechnology Panel. “The federal government has a unique and critically important role to play in coordinating and adequately funding research on the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanotechnology.”
ACC and its member companies strongly support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) planned Nanomaterials Stewardship Program (NMSP). Information gained under the NMSP, along with occupational exposure information gained by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), supporting research of other federal agencies, and information from international bodies such as Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will assist in prioritizing EHS research projects for the foreseeable future. The Panel also urges as an appropriate next step, the funding of an independent review by the National Research
Council Board of Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) to establish EHS research priorities for manufactured nanomaterials and a substantial increase in federal funding of EHS programs for manufactured nanomaterials.
“The Panel encourages the Nanotechnology Environmental and Health Implications (NEHI) Working Group to complete quickly the prioritization of the identified research areas, complete the final research strategy, and initiate the top priority projects,” Ziegler said. “Further, we believe that the BEST has an important role to play in prioritizing the ‘next steps’ articulated in the NEHI Working Group’s report.”
ACC believes that responsible development and regulation of nanomaterials in an open and transparent process will best provide information on nanomaterials that identifies and minimizes potential risks to human health and the environment. To further these objectives, ACC formed the Nanotechnology Panel which consists of domestic producers that are engaged in the manufacture, distribution, and/or use of chemicals that have a business interest in the products of nanotechnology.
“ACC will continue to work hand-in-hand with government and scientists to develop nanotechnology in a way that delivers the essential products that enable us to live longer and healthier lives,” Ziegler concluded.
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