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Bill Introduced to Ensure Safety of Nanotechnology, Transparency of Research, USA

In Law, nano, Nanoscale, NBICS on January 15, 2009 at 11:13 pm

(Washington, DC, January 15, 2009) – Today, the House Science and
Technology Committee introduced H.R. 554, National Nanotechnology
Initiative Amendments Act of 2009
. Identical to H.R. 5940
, which passed
the 110th Congress
by 407 to
6, H.R. 554 will strengthen and provide transparency to the federal
research effort to understand the potential environmental, health, and
safety risks of nanotechnology. It requires the agencies participating
in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to develop a plan for
the environmental and safety research, and a roadmap for implementing
it, which includes explicit near-term and long-term goals and the
funding required, by goal and by agency. The bill also seeks to leverage
private sector investments in nanotechnology and facilitate technology
transfer by strengthening public/private partnerships.

“The range of potential applications of nanotechnology is broad-from
solar cells to sunscreen, from electronics to energy transformation and
storage, to medicine and health,” stated Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN).
“It is important that potential downsides of the technology be addressed
from the beginning in a straightforward and open way, both to protect
the public health and to allay any concerns about the validity of the
results. A thorough, transparent process that ensures the safety of new
products will allow both the business community and the public to
benefit from the development of these new technologies.”

The NNI is multi-agency federal research program established in 2003
though the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of
2003 (P.L.
108-153). It addresses all aspects of nanotechnology, including
environmental, health and safety (EHS) research. A December 2008
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report concluded that the NNI still
lacks an adequate strategic plan and planning process for EHS research.
Over the past several years the House Science and Technology Committee
has carried out numerous oversight activities to encourage the
development and implementation of such a plan, with limited success.
H.R. 554 addresses the key recommendations in the NAS report. In
addition, the legislation requires that responsibility for overseeing
the development and implementation of an EHS research plan be assigned
to a single senior official at the Office of Science and Technology
Policy.

The legislation originally developed from the recommendations from other
formal reviews of NNI by the National Academy of Sciences and the
advisory panel of NNI.

Please see the Committee’s website
for more information on the
Committee’s work on Nanotechnology in the 110th Congress, including
hearings
and markups
.

Bill Introduced to Ensure Safety of Nanotechnology, Transparency of
Research

(Washington, DC, January 15, 2009) – Today, the House Science and
Technology Committee introduced H.R. 554, National Nanotechnology
Initiative Amendments Act of 2009
. Identical to H.R. 5940
, which passed
the 110th Congress
by 407 to
6, H.R. 554 will strengthen and provide transparency to the federal
research effort to understand the potential environmental, health, and
safety risks of nanotechnology. It requires the agencies participating
in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to develop a plan for
the environmental and safety research, and a roadmap for implementing
it, which includes explicit near-term and long-term goals and the
funding required, by goal and by agency. The bill also seeks to leverage
private sector investments in nanotechnology and facilitate technology
transfer by strengthening public/private partnerships.

“The range of potential applications of nanotechnology is broad-from
solar cells to sunscreen, from electronics to energy transformation and
storage, to medicine and health,” stated Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN).
“It is important that potential downsides of the technology be addressed
from the beginning in a straightforward and open way, both to protect
the public health and to allay any concerns about the validity of the
results. A thorough, transparent process that ensures the safety of new
products will allow both the business community and the public to
benefit from the development of these new technologies.”

The NNI is multi-agency federal research program established in 2003
though the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of
2003 (P.L.
108-153). It addresses all aspects of nanotechnology, including
environmental, health and safety (EHS) research. A December 2008
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report concluded that the NNI still
lacks an adequate strategic plan and planning process for EHS research.
Over the past several years the House Science and Technology Committee
has carried out numerous oversight activities to encourage the
development and implementation of such a plan, with limited success.
H.R. 554 addresses the key recommendations in the NAS report. In
addition, the legislation requires that responsibility for overseeing
the development and implementation of an EHS research plan be assigned
to a single senior official at the Office of Science and Technology
Policy.

The legislation originally developed from the recommendations from other
formal reviews of NNI by the National Academy of Sciences and the
advisory panel of NNI.

Please see the Committee’s website
for more information on the
Committee’s work on Nanotechnology in the 110th Congress, including
hearings
and markups
.

http://science.house.gov/press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=2338

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