What Are the Warning Signs That We Should Be Looking For?

Steffen Foss Hansen, Andrew Maynard, Anders Baun, Joel A. Tickner, Diana M. Bowman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Nanotechnologies, as highlighted by this volume, are already ubiquitous in nature. Current and future applications of the technology are expected to lead to substantial societal and environmental benefits. For governments, investment in nanotechnologies, and indeed other emerging technologies, is seen as fundamental for driving the innovation agenda and shifting to a high-tech economy. But, as history clearly illustrates, technological innovations do not come in neat packages. Uncertainties and unintended consequences often accompany their transition from the laboratory into the marketplace. The aim of this chapter is to set the scene, and raise key questions, for the following 14 chapters. Some questions shall be answered, others not. And as the reader moves from chapter to chapter, we challenge you to consider whether we learnt the lessons of past "wonder technologies" and "wonder materials," such as asbestos, or are we destined to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanotechnology Environmental Health and Safety
Subtitle of host publicationRisks, Regulation, and Management: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780815515869
ISBN (Print)9781455731886
StatePublished - Jun 16 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Asbestos
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • EHS
  • European Environment Agency
  • MWCNTs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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