Shades of science fiction surround the potential of the booming nanotechnology industry – like Michael Crichton’s novel “Prey”, which features tiny nano-robots threatening to take over the world. Fiction of course, but nanotechnology is rapidly expanding and promises to exceed the impact of the Industrial Revolution, projecting to become a $1 trillion market by 2015.
UCLA has developed a new testing method that would help manufacturers monitor and test the safety and health risks of engineered nanomaterials. Currently, no government or industry regulations exist for this emerging technology.
A review article in a recent issue of the journal Science by Dr. Andre Nel, Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), presents a compelling discussion on the potential toxic effects of nanomaterials and the urgent need for developing safety testing.