Lux Research president to testify before Congress today

Sept. 21, 2006
September 21, 2006, New York, NY--Nanotechnology commercialization has shot forward in the past year as new nano-enabled memory chips from Freescale, gasoline with nanoparticulate additives from Petrol Ofisi, and nanocomposite materials from DuPont have all come to market.

September 21, 2006, New York, NY--Nanotechnology commercialization has shot forward in the past year as new nano-enabled memory chips from Freescale, gasoline with nanoparticulate additives from Petrol Ofisi, and nanocomposite materials from DuPont have all come to market. During the same period, concerns about the environmental, health, and safety (EHS) risks of nanomaterials have increased, with renewed calls for moratoriums from non-governmental organizations and insurers debating how nanotech start-ups should be covered. But coordinated U.S. government action to address these risks has not advanced, according to a testimony to be given today to the U.S. Congress's House Committee on Science by Lux Research President Matthew M. Nordan.

"Industry sees three categories of risks in nanotechnology -- real risks of harm from nanomaterials, perceptual risks of harm even where it may not exist, and regulatory risk that the legal ground will shift underneath companies," commented Nordan. "The uncertainty stems from a lack of basic research on nanoparticles and how their shape, size, and composition relate to their toxicity -- research that the U.S. government is in a prime position to drive."

Nordan will emphasize that the time has come to move past creating lists of EHS research needs in nanotechnology; multiple well-developed inventories already exist. Instead, what's needed is a game plan for addressing the research and adequate funding to execute it. "The current government organization overseeing nanotechnology EHS issues has neither the mandate nor the budgetary authority to address them," said Nordan. "We believe a new, interagency body is required to create a game plan for nanotechnology EHS risks. The basic research it coordinates will create real risk frameworks for industry -- and help mitigate perceptual and regulatory risks in the bargain."

Nanotechnology EHS risks will be a key point of focus at the Lux Executive Summit, a two-day elite gathering of thought leaders from the business, financial, and scientific communities in Cambridge, MA on October 16-17. Lux Research Analyst Michael Holman will share the firm's latest market studies on nanotech EHS issues in a speech entitled "The Truth about Nanotechnology Environmental, Health, and Safety Risks," with eye-opening onstage demonstrations of the experimental protocols that have been used to study nanomaterial toxicology.

Holman's presentation will be follow by a blue-chip panel discussion of nanotechnology EHS risks featuring Terry Medley, Global Director of Corporate Regulatory Affairs at DuPont; Richard Denison, Senior Scientist at Environmental Defense; Richard Russell, Associate Director and Deputy for Technology in the Executive Office of the President; and Rick Pleus, Director of toxicology consultancy Intertox.

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