Pressure for regulation
This month, the EPA decided to classify carbon nanotubes as “new” chemicals. But even if all nanomaterials are classified as “new,” they’re unlikely to face a rigorous review because of weaknesses in the toxic substances act, said J. Clarence Davies, a senior advisor to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.
Davies plans to be among those testifying at today’s hearing before the U.S. House subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. He and others are expected to urge lawmakers to pressure the EPA to adopt a more comprehensive approach to regulating chemicals, similar to that of a 2006 European Union law. That act requires companies to prove chemicals are safe, unlike TSCA, which puts the burden on the government to prove a harm.
The looming regulations have prompted something of a boon for consultants who seek to guide companies.
“Everyone in the country is laying off people,” said Harry Bushong, president of NanoTox. “Right now, I need to hire people.”
Perfect. Apply the precautionary principle to nanotechnology and watch innovation disappear. But consulting firms…
UPDATE: (11:20 a.m.): And indeed, the testimony on nanotechnology came from the Chronicle-cited
And here’s the witness list and prepared premarks for today’s Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing on “Revisiting the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.”
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