Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin enforcing new rules next week regulating companies using carbon nanotubes. Manufacturers will be required to file pre-manufacturing notices which will be used to evaluate the health and safety measures necessary to protect workers and consumers from possible health hazards associated with nanotubes. The Toxic Substances Control Act specifically cited the requirement for pre-manufacturing notices regarding carbon nanotubes in October 2008, but EPA won't starting enforcing the new rule until March 1, according to the Bureau of National Affairs, which publishes information and product analyses for industry and government.
BOTTOM LINE: The fears of nanotechnology going awry have plagued the field from the get go, so its about time that the EPA stepped in regulate their manufacture. Hopefully the EPA can calm the public with reasonable regulations, but critics maintain that it will overly burden a fledgling industry with red tape. Hopefully the EPA's involvement will enable the field to blossom as well as protect both humans and our natural resources from run-away nanobots.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 8:10 AM