Economical potential and safety of nanomaterials

Revista Razón y Palabra
No. 68 Mayo- Junio de 2009
ISSN: 1605-4806
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The capacity of manipulating matter at the nanoscale has opened a great potential for diverse type of applications and novel innovations, going from new materials for the textile, packaging or food industry, all the way to sophisticated medical procedures and treatments. The economical potential seems to be of major order and it starts to be evident by the increasing public and private spending on nanoscience and nanotechnology research and development; the rising patent registrations all over the world; the growing market quotas and perspectives on the use of nanomaterials in production process, goods and services; etcetera.
Still, nanotechnology potential carries with it significant concerns as those regarding its safety and adequate use and assimilation by society. Therefore, experts have pointed out the need of an international standardization of the production processes of nanomaterials worldwide; the embracement of(eco)nanotoxicology research; as well as the implementation of responsible and “smart” regulatory frameworks in the sense of guarantee the safety of nanomaterials to the public, and thus of nanoproducts and nanosolutions, while invigorating the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The mentioned above should be understood, from a political and economic perspective, as the need for a fully accountability, communication and management of nanotechnology aspects and implications with the purpose of avoid or reduce unnecessary costs; define responsibilities; and maximize the socialization of benefits and opportunities.

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