Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology: Health and Environmental Risks, Second Edition

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Features

  • Explains how risk analysis can help you make more responsible decisions about nanotechnology product development
  • Describes what is known and what needs to be learned about the behavior of nanomaterials and nano-enabled products
  • Discusses the potential risk for occupational, consumer, and environmental exposure throughout the product life cycle
  • Shows how life cycle thinking can be incorporated into risk analysis using the author’s NANO LCRA framework
  • Surveys the international landscape of governmental, industry, academic, and nongovernmental organizations working on nanotechnology science and policy

Summary

Should you adopt nanotechnology? If you have already adopted it, what do you need to know? What are the risks? Nanomaterials and nanotechnologies are revolutionizing the ways we treat disease, produce energy, manufacture products, and attend to our daily wants and needs. To continue to capture the promise of these transformative products, however, we need to ask critical questions about the broader impacts of nanotechnology on society and the environment. Exploring these questions, the second edition of Nanotechnology: Health and Environmental Risks gives you the latest tools to understand the risks of nanotechnology and make better decisions about using it.

Examining the state of the science, the book discusses what is known, and what still needs to be understood, about nanotechnology risk. It looks at the uses of nanotechnology for energy, industry, medicine, technology, and consumer applications and explains how to determine whether there is risk—even when there is little reliable evidence—and how to manage it. Contributors cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Current concerns, among them perceived risks and the challenges of evaluating emerging technology
  • A historical perspective on product safety and chemicals policy
  • The importance of being proactive about identifying and managing health and environmental risks during product development
  • How the concepts of sustainability and life cycle assessment can guide nanotechnology product development
  • Methods for evaluating nanotechnology risks, including screening approaches and research
  • How to manage risk when working with nanoscale materials at the research stage and in occupational environments
  • What international organizations are doing to address risk issues
  • How risk assessment can inform environmental decision making

Written in easy-to-understand language, without sacrificing complexity or scientific accuracy, this book offers a wide-angle view of nanotechnology and risk. Supplying cutting-edge approaches and insight, it explains what types of risks could exist and what you can do to address them.

What’s New in This Edition

  • Updates throughout, reflecting advances in the field, new literature, and policy developments
  • A new chapter on nanotechnology risk communication, including insights into risk perceptions and the mental models people use to evaluate technological risks
  • An emphasis on developing nanotechnology products that are sustainable in the long term
  • Advances in the understanding of nanomaterials toxicity
  • Cutting-edge research on occupational exposure to nanoparticles
  • Changes in the international landscape of organizations working on the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanotechnologies

Table of Contents

Introduction: Assessing Nanotechnology Health and Environmental Risks
Jo Anne Shatkin

Defining Risk Assessment and How It Is Used for Environmental Protection, and Its Potential Role for Managing Nanotechnology Risks
Jo Anne Shatkin

Sustainable Nanotechnology Development Using Risk Assessment and Applying Life Cycle Thinking
Jo Anne Shatkin

The State of the Science: Human Health, Toxicology, and Nanotechnology Risks
Richard C. Pleus

The State of the Science: Environmental Risks
Jo Anne Shatkin

Nano LCRA: An Adaptive Screening-Level Life Cycle Risk Assessment Framework for Nanotechnology
Jo Anne Shatkin

Comprehensive Environmental Assessment and Other Life Cycle-Based Approaches for Assessing Nanotechnology
J. Michael Davis

Managing Risks in Occupational Environments
Thomas M. Peters

Nanotechnology Risk Communication
Ann Bostrom and Ragnar Löfstedt

Ongoing International Efforts to Address Risk Issues for Nanotechnology
Jo Anne Shatkin

Index

Author Bio(s)

Jo Anne Shatkin, Ph.D., leads CLF Ventures, a nonprofit affiliate of the Conservation Law Foundation, New England’s most influential environmental advocacy organization. Dr. Shatkin is an environmental health scientist and recognized expert in human health risk assessment, emerging contaminants policy, and environmental aspects of nanotechnology. She provides leadership on proactive approaches to sustainable technology development, working to advance life cycle approaches to risk analysis, and incorporate life cycle thinking into product design and development. She teaches courses and has published papers and book chapters on topics of stakeholder engagement, environmental health and safety and life cycle approaches to risk analysis for nanotechnology. Dr. Shatkin serves as councilor of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), serves on the board of the Center for Environmental Policy at American University, and is a founding board member of the Stewardship Action Council, and leads the SAC Collaborative Partnerships initiative.

Editorial Reviews

"This is a very useful book for everybody who wants to look at the risks of nanotechnology with a wide angle. Because it places life cycle aspects and risk assessment at the core, it looks at the issue from a holistic point of view, going beyond just describing behavior and effects. This book will be very useful for scientists as well as students, industry, and everybody involved in assessing risks of nanomaterials."
—Bernd Nowack, Empa – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, St. Gallen, Switzerland

"The perspective provided by this book would be epochal for the readers who do not have any prior knowledge of risk assessment. Needless to say, current knowledge on nanomaterials from the viewpoint of risk assessment is well summarized. A wide range of topics is covered, that is, human health effects, ecological effects, life cycle consideration, risk communication, and risk management."
—Masashi Gamo, Research Institute of Science for Safety and Sustainability (RISS), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan

"The book appropriately highlights the complexity of nanotechnology risk assessment in humans and the environment, and explains this complexity in a clear and logical fashion."
—Andre Nel, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine; Chief, Division of NanoMedicine; and Director of UC CEIN at UCLA, USA

"The book provides a comprehensive and comprehensible overview of risk assessment, risk management, and regulation for nanomaterial and nanotechnologies. It does not use the usual scientific jargon and can be well understood by a lay audience. Yet it conveys an actual and accurate picture of the risk debate on nanotechnologies and conveys an excellent overview on the health, environmental, and social risks associated with the use of nanotechnologies. Its basic strength is the combination of easy-to-understand language with high scientific accuracy and an interdisciplinary overview. It is a great example of enhancing public understanding of science."
—Ortwin Renn, University of Stuttgart, Germany

"The challenges of this effort are daunting, yet meeting them is essential for nanotechnology to realize its potential as a sustainable industrial and business enterprise that will drive innovation in America. This revision of the 2008 first edition of Nanotechnology Health and Environmental Risks contributes significantly to this discussion by informing stakeholders about cutting-edge approaches to risk assessment and life cycle analysis, establishing a common vocabulary for multistakeholder communication, and providing the information necessary for science-based risk management."
—From the Preface by Sally Tinkle, Coordinator for NNI EHS Research, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, USA

Praise for the Previous Edition

"... an excellent introduction into the field of nanomaterials risk assessment. ... interdisciplinary and forward-looking... The authors' experiences in the field, enthusiasm, and forward-thinking make it a very valuable resource for scientists and engineers as well as students."
—Dr. Igor Linkov, Research Scientist, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

"I applaud the series editor, G.L. Hornyak, for purposely developing this book and the others in the series to plainly and directly report on different aspects of nanotechnology."
—Richard E. Wenning, IEAM Editor in Chief, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 2008, Vol. 4, No. 4

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