Emerging Nanotechnologies and Life-Cycle Regulation: An Investigation of Federal Regulatory Oversight from Nanomaterial Production to End of Life
by Christian Beaudrie | View • Download
Nanotechnologies promise many benefits for society, from modest improvements in consumer products to revolutionary changes in drug delivery and medical treatments. Over 1,000 nano-enabled products are currently on the market in the United States, and billions have been 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 U.S. 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.