The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $5.5 million to three consortia to support innovative research on nanotechnology. The EPA, in collaboration with the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council, is leading this scientific research effort to better understand the potential risks to people’s heath and the environment. The scientific information developed from the research can help guide the EPA and other agencies in decisions about the safety of new materials and products that are made using nanotechnology.
“The responsible development of nanotechnology can play a major role in sustaining a positive, healthy environment, a vibrant and growing economy, and a high standard of living,” said Paul Anastas, assistant administrator of the EPA Office of Research and Development. “Understanding the risks posed by engineered nanomaterials is a global challenge that is best met through international collaboration, drawing on the combined expertise of researchers from diverse backgrounds.”
The grants that the EPA has awarded will help researchers determine whether certain nanomaterials can leach out of products such as paints, plastics, and fabrics when they are used or disposed of, and whether they could become toxic to people and the environment. Many U.S. industries can benefit from the positive applications of nanotechnology, including environmental remediation, pollution prevention, innovative drug delivery and therapy, efficient renewable energy, and effective energy storage.
For more information, visitwww.epa.gov/nanoscience.