The safety of engineered nanomaterials continues to be in the news. Clayton Teague, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, wrote an Op-ed in response to a three-part AOL Special Report, “The Nanotech Gamble: Bold Science. Big Money. Growing Risk.” The report, by Senior Public Health Correspondent Andrew Schneider, and Teague’s response can be viewed at these links. Teague calls the series misleading and notes that Schneider ignored any substantive discussion of the $254 million the NNI spent directly on environmental, health, and safety research in the last five years or the additional $200M slated for this year and next. He notes that the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, in their recent review of the entire NNI (, commended the EHS efforts so far and called them proactive. But Schneider isn’t impressed with the PCAST report either, as he made clear in an additional column last week.

Meanwhile, as we heard at our NanoBusiness Alliance DC Roundtable, individual agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration continue to address nanomaterials on a case by case basis using their existing regulatory authorities. They urge companies to work directly with them to ensure product safety. The NNI also continues to develop its adaptive overall strategy for EHS research. The last in a series of five EHS workshops called for in the 2007 NNI strategic plan was held on March 30th and 31st. The second meeting in the National Academies’ 4-year EPA-sponsored study is scheduled for May 3rd and 4th. (Contact Orin Luke,, if you are interested in attending or see for more information.)

EPA has another way for companies to get involved in nano safety. Through May 11th, the agency is accepting Small Business Innovation Research proposals relevant to nanoEHS. They’re looking at both sides of the benefit/risk equation, seeking better ways to detect, quantify and control nanoparticles or ways to apply nanotechnology for pollution prevention, monitoring and control. According to the SBIR solicitation available in full at

Specific areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)- and nanotechnology-based sensors for rapid and precise process control and environmental monitoring. Areas of particular interest include remote, in-situ, real-time and continuous measurement of species at trace (ppt) concentrations. Sensors that utilize lab-on-a-chip technology are also of interest.
  • New nanoporous filters for removal of gaseous pollutants and particulates from contaminated air streams
  • Nanoparticulate catalysts for utilization in VOC treatment devices and related applications
  • High surface area nanomaterials for new coatings and environmental applications
  • New, lightweight portable instruments to detect and quantify nanoparticles
  • Technologies that minimize the release of nanomaterials into the environment

Our 3rd Annual Nano Renewable Energy Summit is being held May 24-25th in Denver, CO. On Tuesday, May 25th at 10:45am, Jim Hussey, CEO of NanoInk, will be delivering a Keynote Speech titled, “EHS Issues and Cell Growth.” Immediately following, for the first time at any nano conference, we will have a panel titled, “Nanotechnology Executive and EHS Professionals: Open discussion in regard to 2010 Regulatory Environment.” The panel participants are as follows:

Moderators: Don Ewert, IH, EH&S Manager, OSO BioPharmaceuticals Manufacturing, Chairman of the AIHA Nanotechnology Working Group & Vincent Caprio, Executive Director, NanoBusiness Alliance

Panelists: Mark Hoover, PhD, CHP, CIH, Health Physicist & Industrial Hygienist; Michael J. Kosnett, MD, MPH, Occupational Physician & Professional Toxicologist; Ryan M. Richards, Nanoscience Chair, American Chemical Society


Lockheed Martin Unit to Honor Superlative Employees in New Jersey and Georgia

Safe, secure nuclear energy must be part of climate change solution

Quantum Sphere, Monthly Newsletter, April 2010, Edition 60

Lux Research: Is Nissan losing money on every Leaf it sells?

Hope to see you in Denver to discuss renewable energy.


Vincent Caprio “It’s Green, It’s Clean, It’s Never Seen – That’s Nanotechnology”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Alliance