Nanotechnology offers solutions to pressing global issues, but they also have the potential to lead to unexpected risks and unintended consequences. A newly released book, Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety: Risk, Regulation and Management, offers insights into how these new technologies may be applied to build a sustainable future and provides practical strategies for identifying and mitigating the potential risks that accompany emerging nanotechnology.
Published by Elsevier, the book is co-edited by Matthew Hull, program manager at Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) and president of NanoSafe, Inc., and Diana Bowman, assistant professor in the Risk Science Center and Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan. This volume is the follow-up to the influential first edition of Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety: Risk, Regulation and Management, also co-edited by Hull and Bowman in 2010.
"Drawing on the experiences of over 40 authors from academia, trade unions, Fortune 500 corporations, entrepreneurs, insurers, nanotechnology facility managers, and experts in product liability and environmental law, Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety offers a consolidated guide to the responsible use of nanotechnology," said Bowman. "In doing so, it focuses on providing the reader with strategies for minimizing potential risks, while enabling the social, environmental, and economic benefits to be fully realized."
The cross-disciplinary insights in this edition cover the nanotechnology landscape, from design and production, to commercialization to disposal, while providing balanced discussions on the current state of knowledge on this rapidly evolving technology.
Also included in this edition is the first comprehensive synopsis of a company's experiences developing and commercializing nanocellulose -- a novel nanomaterial derived from plants that is 10 times stronger than steel on the nanoscale.
"We're excited by the important insights that have emerged from the second edition of Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety. This unique collection of perspectives from thought leaders around the world sheds light on both the progress being made and the challenges encountered along the way towards understanding and managing nanotechnology EHS risks," said Hull. "The context of nanotechnology risks continues to evolve, and there remains much work to be done, but when we pause to reflect, the progress made across disciplines, sectors, and government jurisdictions is impressive."
"Nanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety goes beyond simply outlining the knowledge gaps and regulatory requirements. It offers practical acumens based on what we have learned about nanotechnology risk over the years, using this evidence to provide recommendations on how to develop nanotechnologies for both societal and economic gains," said John Monica, a nationally recognized authority on nanotechnology environmental health and safety and a Partner at Porter Wright Law Firm. "This edition builds on nanotechnology risk assessment, a core theme of the first edition, and focuses on the concept of sustainable nanotechnology. This shift is a testament to the progress that has been made in the nanotechnology sector in the current decade."