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Nanotechnology, the use of nanoscopic materials as microscopic
building blocks for thousands of consumer products, has turned
into a big business so quickly that few are monitoring its effects
on health and the environment.
So the government of Berkeley, California, is intending for the
city to be the first to step into the breach and try to regulate this
The Berkeley City Council was expected Tuesday to amend its
law on hazardous materials to compel researchers and manu-
facturers to report what nanotechnology materials they are
working with and how they are handling the tiny particles.
The aim of nanotechnology in the commercial world is to
develop new products and materials by changing or creating
materials at the atomic and molecular level.
But many of the effects of such actions remain unknown.
The new regulation, city officials said, is mostly aimed at
monitoring nanotechnology start-ups and small businesses,
rather than the national lab's efforts.
International Herald Tribune