Nanotechnology: A Science and Policy Update

April 17, 2012
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

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Nanoparticles are already in hundreds of everyday products, including the food we eat, but toxicology and safety studies are still in the early stages of development. Basic research on cell cultures suggests that nanoparticles can affect normal cell functioning. One recent study indicated that the uptake and accumulation of nanoparticles in cells can disrupt important intracellular interactions. With the proverbial cat already out of the bag, what is the current understanding of the science and potential health risks? What policy opportunities are there to ensure public health is protected? The researchers on this call presented the latest on what has emerged in this field since CHE held a national call on this topic almost two years ago.

Featured Speakers

Barbara Karn is the program director for the Environment, Health, Safety of Nanotechnology (NanoEHS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Jennifer Sass is a senior scientist in NRDC's health and environment program, working on scientific issues relevant to federal chemical regulations. Jennifer directs the scientific integrity project and the nanotechnology project. Jennifer received her doctorate degree from the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and a postdoctoral fellowship in toxicology from the University of Maryland.

Jaydee Hanson works as a policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety on issues related to nanotechnology, animal cloning and animal genetic engineering. He also works for the Center's sister agency, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) where he directs their work on human genetics, synthetic biology and nanotechnology. He is the US co-chair for the Nanotechnology Taskforce of the Transatlantic Consumers Dialogue and a fellow of the Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future.

The call was moderated by Elise Miller, MEd, director, CHE.