US Nanotechnology Environmental, Health & Safety Research Strategy open for comment

by Andrew Maynard on December 6, 2010

The US National Nanotechnology Initiative’s latest iteration of its Environmental, Health and Safety Research Strategy has just been posted on-line for public comment.  Between now and January 6, anyone who is interested is encouraged to read the draft and comment on the on-line portal – hopefully sparking a dialogue which will strengthen the final document.

You may remember that the previous strategy was given a bit of a hard time by the National Academies of Science – less for its substance than for the way it was – or wasn’t – brought together in a research strategy.  It’ll be interesting to see how things have evolved over the past couple of years or so.

I haven’t read the draft strategy yet, but I’m hopeful that this will be a stronger document.  For one thing, it builds on input from a wide range of non-government experts.  For another, the feds have taken the bold but extremely welcome step of initiating a public review period.  This makes a lot of sense – it provides another chance to iron out those niggling mistakes that everyone makes while writing documents, and it helps a broader community to be a part of the process, rather than just passive recipients.

I’ll be posting comments on the draft over the next few weeks – within the constraint that I am currently also working on the National Academies panel developing a complementary strategy.  But in the meantime, I would encourage anyone with the slightest interest in the potential health and environmental impacts of engineered nanomaterials to read the report, and join the conversation.

The on-line portal can be accessed here.

And before I go, I can’t resist noting that, once again, comments are restricted to 4000 characters.  I am so tempted to tweet my comments, just to get into the spirit of things!  The good news is that multiple posts are allowed!

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