Accession Number:

ADA517372

Title:

Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-03-12

Pagination or Media Count:

16.0

Abstract:

Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology -- commonly referred to collectively as nanotechnology -- is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits. Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention primarily to three topics that may affect the realization of this hoped for potential federal research and development RD in nanotechnology U.S. competitiveness and environmental, health, and safety EHS concerns. This report provides an overview of these topics and two others nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. Some research has raised concerns about the safety of nanoscale materials. There is general agreement that more information on EHS implications is needed to protect the public and the environment to assess and manage risks and to create a regulatory environment that fosters prudent investment in nanotechnology-related innovation. Nanomanufacturing -- the bridge between nanoscience and nanotechnology products -- may require the development of new technologies, tools, instruments, measurement science, and standards to enable safe, effective, and affordable commercial-scale production of nanotechnology products. Public understanding and attitudes may also affect the environment for RD, regulation, and market acceptance of products incorporating nanotechnology. In 2003, Congress enacted the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act providing a legislative foundation for some of the activities of the NNI, addressing concerns, establishing programs, assigning agency responsibilities, and setting authorization levels. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate remain actively engaged in the NNI. Legislation has been introduced in the House H.R. 554 and Senate S. 1482 that would amend the act. The House passed H.R. 554 on February 11, 2009. The Senate has not acted on this legislation.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Safety Engineering
  • Environmental Health and Safety

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE