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November 8, 2010

PEN Releases Report on Voluntary Initiatives to Regulate Nanotechnology

Lynn L. Bergeson

On November 4, 2010, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released a report entitled Voluntary Initiatives, Regulation, and Nanotechnology Oversight: Charting a Path, which reviews a number of voluntary options available for the oversight of nanotechnology products and processes. The report classifies the various types of voluntary initiatives and the partnerships that underlie them, and assesses the factors that are most likely to contribute to program success. The thesis of the report is that both non-regulatory and voluntary initiatives can play a constructive role in nanotechnology oversight. The report concludes that as nanotechnologies move forward, voluntary programs will play an important role in the governance portfolio available to the federal government, as well as states and municipalities.