Why the Elephant in the Room Appears to be More than a Nano-Sized Challenge

European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2011

8 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2011

See all articles by Joel D'Silva

Joel D'Silva

Legal Researcher

Diana Megan Bowman

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Public Health

Date Written: December 12, 2011

Abstract

This Special Issue devoted to 'The regulation of nanotechnologies' draws together contributions from some of the leading commentators in their respective fields. The Special Issue canvasses some of the most pressing philosophical, ethical and regulatory questions currently being debated around the world in relation to nanotechnologies and more specifically nanomaterials. At this relatively early stage of development, there is considerable scientific uncertainty, for example, about the potential human health and safety risks of some 'free' nanomaterials and their use. In addition to the potential risks associated with various products themselves, a number of commentators have also raised concerns about the potential occupational and environmental risks associated with the manufacture and disposal of certain classes of nano-based products. Looking beyond the scientific safety questions, commentators have also expressed concern about the potential reaction of consumers to the technology and the market realities therefore. Indeed, it is not a given that consumers will readily accept the use of nanomaterials in, for example, foods, even if they offer a 'superior' alternative to their conventional counterpart.

Regulation has a significant impact on the development and trajectory of new technologies. Depending on its scope, applicability and interpretation it will affect research and development, types of products produced, commercialization and finally consumption of the technology (and its products). This Special issue incorporates fourteen papers covering various aspects and issues pertaining to the theme across a number of jurisdictions.

Keywords: nanotechnology, law, regulation, nanomaterials, risk

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

D'Silva, Joel and Bowman, Diana Megan, Why the Elephant in the Room Appears to be More than a Nano-Sized Challenge (December 12, 2011). European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1971170

Joel D'Silva (Contact Author)

Legal Researcher ( email )

Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Diana Megan Bowman

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Public Health ( email )

1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
United States

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