Nanotechnologies: Overview and issues

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


Nanotechnology - the manipulation of matter at near-atomic scales to produce new materials and products - is a reality now, and our ability to produce evermore sophisticated materials, processes, and products by engineering at the nanoscale will only increase over the coming years. Yet our understanding of the potential health, safety, and environmental impacts of these emerging technologies is rudimentary at best. Current knowledge is sufficient to indicate that some nanotechnologies will present new risks. What we still lack is information on how to assess and manage these risks. The challenges to the scientific community are significant: Which nanotechnologies present a significant hazard? What are those hazards and how do they relate to risks to health, safety, and the environment? How can risks be identified and controlled effectively? These and similar questions will require the risk research community to devise new strategies, new thinking, and new funding if answers are to be found. Above all, new partnerships will be needed to address potential risks - between researchers, agencies, stakeholders, and governments. However, by finding ways to work together effectively within a strategic framework, there is every chance that beneficial, sustainable, and safe nanotechnologies will emerge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanotechnology and Toxilogical Issues and Environmental Safety
EditorsP.P. Simeonova, N. Opopol, M.I. Luster
Number of pages14
StatePublished - May 25 2007
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameNATO Security through Science Series C: Environmental Security
ISSN (Print)1871-4668


  • Control
  • Engineered nanomaterials
  • Exposure
  • Nanotechnology
  • Risk
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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