Canadian Stewardship Practices for Environmental Nanotechnology

Publication Date : 2005
Code : 129
245 Visited Entry Date : 2017/10/07


Volume 72 Pages
Document type Report
Subject Regulatory & Legal Aspect ; Environmental Safety

Environment Canada recognizes the need to improve understanding about nanotechnology as a prelude to shaping its development in an environmentally sustainable and responsible manner. Science-Metrix was selected to conduct a study to identify best practice in terms of environmental nanotechnology-related issues.

Science-Metrix has examined and studied more than 500 documents and used information from about 200 of them to guarantee depth and robustness for the analysis presented in this study. This report considers a wide range of initiatives, strategies and policies that refer to the social, ethical and technical aspects of nanotechnology.

This study includes both research focusing on nanotechnology applications that are expected to present environmental benefits (Section 2.1) and research that may expose the environmental risks and potential threats associated with nanotechnology (Section 2.2). The study subsequently undertakes a comprehensive review of strategies and policies developed in the US and in European and Asian countries to identify and reconcile stewardship issues associated with nanotechnologies (Section 3). Several recommendations are made to help Environment Canada target environmental applications, maximize benefits and minimize the potentially adverse effects associated with the development of nanotechnology, and to lay the groundwork for best stewardship practice (Section 4).

Executive summary








1 Introduction


2 Current research in the environmental aspects of nanotechnology

   2.1 Research on the beneficial effects of nanotechnology on the environment

      2.1.1 Sensors

      2.1.2 Pollution treatment and remediation

      2.1.3 Green technologies

      2.1.4 Future applications

   2.2 Research on the adverse effects of nanotechnology on the environment

      2.2.1 Engineered nanoparticles

      2.2.2 Natural nanoparticles

      2.2.3 Potential mechanisms of nanoparticle toxicity

      2.2.4 Perspective and new research avenues

   2.3 Conclusion


3 Nanotechnology Policy and Stewardship Issues

   3.1 The US

      3.1.1 The National Nanotechnology Initiative

      3.1.2 NSF and the NSEC program

      3.1.3 NSF and the NIRT program

      3.1.4 NSF and the NNIN initiative

      3.1.5 Initiatives developed by other federal agencies and bioethical organizations

      3.1.6 Role played by private foundations

   3.2 Europe

      3.2.1 The Sixth Framework Program (FP6)

      3.2.2 Network and environmental organization

      3.2.3 Organization, committee and program involved in science policies

      3.2.4 Organization and committee involved in ethical and social issues

      3.2.5 United Kingdom

      3.2.6 Germany

      3.2.7 France

      3.2.8 Switzerland

   3.3 Asia

      3.3.1 Asian supranational initiatives

      3.3.2 Japan

      3.3.3 China

      3.3.4 Korea

   3.4 Nanotechnology and the environment: still looking for stewards


4 Discussion and recommendations

   4.1 Greening the environment with nanotechnology

   4.2 Preventing risks to the environment due to nanotechnology

   4.3 Recommendations




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