With concerns about the potential risks of nanotechnology swirling around this still nascent industry, a partnership of DuPont and the non-profit organization Environmental Defense has put forth a framework to help inform the global dialogue.
Called the Nano Risk Framework, it is aimed at virtually any organization interested in commercializing nanoscale materials. The framework includes a six-step process to identify, assess and manage potential risks associated with nanotechnology. The six steps include:
- describing the materials and intended applications;
- profiling the material's lifecycle in the application;
- evaluating associated risks;
- assessing management options;
- deciding and documenting actions; and
- regularly reviewing new information and adapting actions as necessary.
"This framework outlines a disciplined process for the responsible development of nanomaterials," says DuPont's Linda Fisher, vice president and chief sustainability officer. "While we do not see this framework as a substitute for regulation, we hope that it assists governments in drafting appropriate regulations."