Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research (2008)

Subject Area:
NNI Strategic Documents
EHS-related Documents
Author: Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology, Committee on Technology, National Science and Technology Council
Publication Date: Feb. 13 2008

Description:

Outlines the NNI strategy for nanotechnology-related environmental, health and safety (EHS) research.  Includes an analysis of EHS research needs outlined in the previously published NNI document, Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Needs for Engineered Nanoscale Materials (September 2006) and a summary of the then-current NNI EHS research portfolio across five primary research categories: (1) Instrumentation, Metrology, and Analytical Methods; (2) Nanomaterials and Human Health; (3) Nanomaterials and the Environment; (4) Human and Environmental Exposure Assessment; and (5) Risk Management Methods.  Also includes an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the then-current NNI research portfolio, a recommended framework for addressing the identified research needs, and a recommended implementation and adaptive management process.  Tables showing research projects funded in 2006 by NNI agencies in each of the five EHS research categories are included as an appendix.


Nanotechnology Fact

Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers (nm), where unique phenomena enable novel applications not feasible when working with bulk materials or even with single atoms or molecules. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick; a single gold atom is about a third of a nanometer in diameter.

Researchers seeking to understand the fundamentals of properties at the nanoscale call their work nanoscience; those focused on effective use of the properties call their work nanoengineering.

Encompassing nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.

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