DuPont and Environmental Defense Launch Nano Risk Framework
Yesterday DuPont and Environmental Defense, a leading U.S. environmental non-profit organization, released a comprehensive framework to assist with the responsible development and use of nanotechnology and to help inform global dialogue on its potential risks. The Nano Risk Framework is intended for use around the world by small and large companies, regulatory agencies, universities, and others with an interest in commercializing nanoscale materials.
DuPont and Environmental Defense began a partnership on nanotechnology in September 2005, creating a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in science, engineering, law and business. The goal was to develop a systematic and disciplined process for evaluating and addressing the environmental, health and safety risks of nanomaterials across all stages of a product’s lifecycle - from initial sourcing through manufacture, use, and recycling or disposal.
The resulting Framework offers a thorough and usable six-step process for organizations to identify, assess and manage potential risks.
“Nanotechnology has the potential to unleash innovations in materials, energy, and other fields that could lead to powerful environmental and health benefits,” said Director of Corporate Partnerships at Environmental Defense Gwen Ruta. “Our intent is to help reap the full promise of this technology without creating unintended consequences. We want to get this right the first time around.”
“This Framework outlines a disciplined process for the responsible development of nanomaterials,” said DuPont Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Linda Fisher. “At DuPont, we have adopted this approach as a part of our mandatory product stewardship process, and we encourage others to do the same. While we do not see this Framework as a substitute for regulation, we hope that it assists governments in drafting appropriate regulations.”
In developing the Framework, DuPont and Environmental Defense solicited and received significant feedback from a broad range of interested parties, including other companies and NGOs, government officials and academics. The Framework uses proven risk-management techniques in order to fully integrate with any current environmental, health and safety practices in place within companies. It also provides several new elements that can be instrumental in understanding the unique potential risks of nanomaterials.
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