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December 29, 2009

Wisconsin Legislature Considers Nanotechnology Registry

Lynn L. Bergeson

In a December 16, 2009, letter, three members of the Wisconsin Assembly requested that a Legislative Council study be conducted on the feasibility of creating a nanotechnology registry and the development of subsequent legislation to monitor the use, manufacture, and disposal of nanomaterials in Wisconsin. The letter, signed by State Representatives Terese Berceau (D), Chuck Benedict (D), and Penny Bernard Schaber (D), notes that entities manufacturing or using nanomaterials in Wisconsin are not required by state or federal regulation to identify materials they are using, how they transport and dispose of them, or where such work is taking place. According to the letter, data gaps present “serious concerns” to first responders and public agencies responsible for addressing health consequences or releases into air or water. The letter states: “The development of a registry in partnership with science, business, and the public sector — and which enhances the economic development of our state — is our ultimate goal.”