New Tool Evaluates Risk Of Nanomaterials

July 13, 2007
DuPont, Environmental Defense develop process to aid in responsible development of nanotechnology.

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.
Linda Fisher, vice president and chief sustainability officer, DuPontThe framework can be downloaded at

"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."

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Jill Jusko

Bio: Jill Jusko is executive editor for IndustryWeek. She has been writing about manufacturing operations leadership for more than 20 years. Her coverage spotlights companies that are in pursuit of world-class results in quality, productivity, cost and other benchmarks by implementing the latest continuous improvement and lean/Six-Sigma strategies. Jill also coordinates IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Awards Program, which annually salutes the leading manufacturing facilities in North America.

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