NGOs challenge claims about environmental benefits of nanotechnologies

IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network) and EEB (European Environmental Bureau), two international coalitions of NGOs, recently pointed out in a press release a “mismatch between claims and reality” concerning potential environmental benefits of nanotechnologies. According to them, ” (…) early evidence of the much greater energy demands of producing nanoparticles, the significant quantities of potentially toxic waste their production generates, and the ecotoxic behaviour of many nanoparticles themselves has cast doubt on industry claims that nanotechnology offers ‘green’ solutions to the current ecological crises (…) Without a proper and comprehensive risk and life cycle analysis to balance the current commercialisation of high-risk applications with little or no proven societal benefits, environmental costs could be high and the technology as a whole distrusted or rejected by the public.”

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# Environmentally beneficial nanotechnologies – barriers and opportunities (95 p)

# Nanoparticles & ecotoxicity – volumetry in biomedical publications since 2000 ]]]

European activities in the field of ELSA and governance of nanotechnology

A recently released report summarizes the European Commission activities in the field of Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects (ELSA) and governance of nanotechnology (see this Nanowerk article). The report includes a list of EU funded projects related to these issues and can be downloaded on the Nanotechnology Homepage of the European Commission or directly here.

Environmental Nanoparticles: Science, Ethics, and Policy

The University of Delaware will host a conference entitled “Environmental Nanoparticles: Science, Ethics, and Policy” on November 10-11, 2008. Among others, the two cofounders of the Nanoethics GroupDr. Fritz Allhoff and Dr. Patrick Lin – will participate to the conference and give presentations.