What's at stake
Nanotechnology — the design and manipulation of materials at the atomic and molecular scale — has great potential to deliver environmental, health and other benefits. Novel properties emerge as materials reach the nano-scale, such as changes in surface chemistry, reactivity and electrical conductivity. These open the door to almost limitless innovations in areas as diverse as computer processors, batteries, solar panels, lighter and stronger plastics, drug delivery and cosmetics.
However, a number of preliminary studies suggest that as materials reach the nanoscale the same beneficial, novel properties may also pose new risks to workers, consumers, the public and the environment. In order to reap the enormous commercial and societal benefits, companies should collaborate with manufacturers, users and buyers of nanomaterials to develop and share the information needed to make sound risk management decisions.
What companies can do
- Ensure the safe use and production of nanomaterials by following a rigorous risk management protocol, such as the Nano Risk Framework developed by EDF and DuPont.
See how DuPont applied the framework to three pilot products.
Resources to help
- Review the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies’ inventory of consumer products using nano to see how your industry might be involved.