Senate Introduces Nanotechnology Safety Legislation

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Two US senators have introduced the Nanotechnology Safety Act of 2010, which would establish a program within the US Food and Drug Administration to assess the health and safety implications of nanotechnology in everyday products.

Two US senators have introduced the Nanotechnology Safety Act of 2010, which would establish a program within the US Food and Drug Administration to assess the health and safety implications of nanotechnology in everyday products. The legislation would also develop best practices for companies employing nanotechnology.

“Nanotechnology is one of the most important and enabling technologies being developed right now and it has hundreds of promising applications-from new cancer treatments to improved military machinery to stain-resistant clothes. As these products are developed and used, we must understand any potential risks to human health, safety, or the environment,” Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), who introduced the legislation with Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), said in a press statement.

According to Pryor, FDA already has facilities in place that could conduct the scientific studies required under the legislation-namely the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in Jefferson, Arizona, and its consolidated headquarters in White Oak, Maryland. Both locations provide the agency with scientific technology, training, methods development, and technical expertise.

“The NCTR has built a record of excellence in its mission to provide scientifically sound basis for FDA decisions. This success is due in part to its strong partnerships with researchers in government, the private sector, and academia,” said Pryor in the statement.

Cardin added: “The high-tech infrastructure at the new consolidated headquarters at White Oak provides the FDA with an opportunity for innovation and more effective use of technology to meet challenges in product safety, global markets, and increased consumer demand.”

According to the statement, there are more than 600 known commercial uses of nanotechnology. In 2004, the US National Science Foundation estimated that new nanotechnology-based products would contribute 2 million jobs and $1 trillion in revenue to the global economy by 2015.