Chances and Risks of Nanotechnology

Authored by: Armin Grunwald

Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075465
eBook ISBN: 9781420075496
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9781420075496-16

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Abstract

The public perception of nanotechnology was initially characterized completely by the expected positive qualities and consequences. In the meantime, however, a debate about the risks of nanotechnology has developed. Questions have been, and are still being, asked about the toxicity of nanoparticles; debates have begun about the regulation of nanomaterials; and ethical analyses have been conducted. The public debate about nanotechnology has been spurred on by position papers published by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) (e.g., ETC Group 2003). Organizations and corporations maintain working groups on the social aspects of nanotechnology, such as the group called Responsible Production and Use of Nanomaterials, of the German Union of the Chemical Industry (Verband der Chemischen Industrie). Ministries and other government bodies hold workshops and public discussions on the risks of nanotechnology. International organizations such as the European Commission (Nordmann 2004) and UNESCO (ten Have 2007) have commissioned expert groups to prepare position papers (Renn and Roco 2006).

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