News Brief

Nanomaterials a Sizable Concern, Says National Academy

By Erin Weaver

A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel of experts has issued a report expressing concern about the health and environmental effects of nanomaterials (see “Is Nano a No-No?”,

EBN Mar. 2008). The report points out that suspected risks are already being ignored, and as the nanotechnology market continues to expand, “today’s exposure scenarios may not resemble those of the future.” The panel calls for in-depth research into nanomaterial release, interactions, and exposure.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which commissioned the report, has conditionally approved the use of nanosilver in textiles, including clothing; manufacturer HeiQ has four years to provide legally required toxicity data. In reaction to this move, the Natural Resources Defense Council has filed a federal lawsuit to block the use of nanosilver on textiles, alleging that silver is toxic and that nanosilver is even more potent and also penetrates human organs due to its smaller size. The NAS panel will revisit the issue in 2013.



Published February 28, 2012

Weaver, E. (2012, February 28). Nanomaterials a Sizable Concern, Says National Academy. Retrieved from

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