Monthly Archives: February 2008

Wishful Thinking ≠ Safety

John BalbusCal Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.

In the current regulatory environment, where there are no regulations that specifically take into account the unique properties of engineered nanomaterials, industry has by default the primary responsibility for their safe production and use. Is industry taking this responsibility seriously?

Two recent studies, one in Europe and one in the U.S., shed light on this question and reveal some reasons to be concerned. Read More »

Posted in Health Science, Nanotechnology / Tagged , , | Comments are closed

Nanoparticles on the brain?

John BalbusJohn Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., is Chief Health Scientist.

It’s been a worry for engineered nanoparticles. Now, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health (Suglia et al., 2008) is the first to suggest that particulate air pollution not only damages the lungs and heart, but also may damage the developing brain.

Researchers measured cognitive function in over 200 children in Boston in relation to their residential exposure to traffic-related air pollution by measuring airborne carbon black particles. They found the IQ-lowering effect of higher exposure is comparable to a pregnant mother smoking 10 cigarettes a day or moderate lead exposure. Read More »

Posted in Emerging Science, Health Science, Nanotechnology / Tagged , | Read 3 Responses

NNI’s new strategy: Not quite

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

Just when you thought it might never emerge, the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s (NNI) Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health and Safety Research [2.2 MB PDF] finally hit the streets last week.

It’s got good, bad and ugly. The good news is that here, at last, is a report from NNI that actually reads more like a strategy and less like yet another laundry list of research needs. The bad news is that key elements of a full strategy are still nowhere to be found. Read More »

Posted in Health Policy, Nanotechnology / Tagged , , | Read 1 Response


John BalbusJohn Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., is Chief Health Scientist.

Welcome to our new blog, Nanotechnology Notes.

EDF’s TeamNano – Cal Baier-Anderson, Richard Denison, Scott Walsh, and myself – will use this space to comment regularly on nanotechnology news and events, with a focus on environmental, health, and safety issues. Check back often for our viewpoints on a range of topics related to research, policy, regulation and oversight, and business implications of this new technology.

We invite your comments and look forward to your feedback! And please let your colleagues and friends know about our new blog.

Posted in Nanotechnology / Comments are closed