Emerging Nanotechnologies and Life-Cycle Regulation: An Investigation of Federal Regulatory Oversight from Nanomaterial Production to End of Life

Emerging Nanotechnologies and Life-Cycle Regulation

Christian Beaudrie
Studies in Sustainability
2010, Chemical Heritage Foundation
63 pp
Softcover, 8.5 x 11

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Nanotechnologies promise many benefits for society, from modest improvements in consumer products to revolutionary changes in drug delivery and medical treatments. There are over a thousand nano-enabled products currently on the market in the US, and billions invested in future nanotechnologies. While nanotechnologies offer tremendous benefits for society, they may also pose significant risks. The same properties that enable novel applications may also lead to negative health and environmental consequences. These novel properties, coupled with a relative scarcity of information on nanomaterial hazards, make risk assessment and regulation a difficult task.

This paper investigates the US federal regulations that apply to a nanomaterial along its life cycle, from initial creation to end-of-life. Drawing upon the growing literature that explores the regulatory challenges posed by nanomaterials, this analysis investigates which regulations are expected to apply at each life-cycle stage, and the ways that nanomaterials challenge the applicability or enforcement of these regulations.

About Studies in Sustainability

The Studies in Sustainability series serves as a forum for discussion about the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in transforming chemistry into a tool for sustainability. The series, which highlights the intersecting roles played by emerging science, innovation, regulation, standards, and civil action, aims to publish dynamic new research examining the links between chemistry, sustainability, and pressing environmental and human health concerns.


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