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July 19, 2007

Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Issues Statement on the Occupational and Environmental Risks of Nanotechnology

Lynn L. Bergeson

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) recently issued a position statement on nanotechnology risks. The CSTE statement observes that the “health, safety and environmental effects of nanomaterials are poorly understood,” and that “our limited knowledge of [nanotechnology’s] potential harm is cause for concern.” Among other things, CSTE calls: for increased funding for research on the environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanotechnology; for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require content-labeling on products containing nanoparticles that are aerosolized or applied to the skin; and for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue standards for the protection of workers, the public, and the environment against known or suspected harmful effects of nanoparticles.