WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today introduced legislation to address potential health and safety risks about products that contain nanotechnology materials.
“From new cancer treatments to stain-resistant pants, nanotechnology offers hundreds of promising applications and jobs,” Pryor said. “As these products are developed and used, we should assess potential risks to human health, safety, or the environment. My legislation will ensure public safety and confidence in the marketplace, and it will support companies that use nanotechnology materials.”
The Nanotechnology Regulatory Science Act of 2011 would establish a program within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess the health and safety implications of using nanotechnology in everyday products and develop best practices for companies using nanotechnology. The legislation authorizes $48 million over three years, starting in Fiscal Year 2013.
According to Pryor, the FDA already has facilities in place, such as the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in Jefferson, AR, that could conduct the scientific studies required by the bill. NCTR currently provides the FDA with innovative scientific technology, training, methods development, and technical expertise to improve public health.
“The NCTR plays an essential role in ensuring food and products in our home are safe,” Pryor said. “Its expertise, combined with its strong partnerships with researchers in government, the private sector, and academia, makes it an ideal candidate to lead our nation’s nanotechnology health and safety studies.”
There are over 800 known commercial uses of nanotechnology and over 1,300 consumer nanotechnology products available. In 2010, the National Science Foundation estimated new nanotechnology-based products would contribute 2 million jobs and $1 trillion dollars in revenue to the world’s economy by 2015.