Risk Management of Emerging Technologies: Nanotechnology/nanomaterials

Gibbs, Lawrence
(Stanford University, Stanford, CA)

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Oversight and risk management of manufacturing with new technologies is often a challenge even when good risk assessment information is available. Health professionals traditionally rely on the results of quantifiable human health risk assessments to develop and implement risk management programs. However, this becomes considerably more challenging with emerging technologies, where the risk has yet to be quantified. Such is the case with engineered nanomaterials, whose risks are not fully assessed as to their potential toxicological impact or exposure potential. The result is the need to apply qualitative risk management solutions which involve decision-making without all the information needed for quantitative risk assessment. This discussion will focus on the issues and elements involved in developing risk assessment and identify and characterize the major knowledge gaps relative to nanomaterials. Additionally, the presenter will discuss the importance of emergning technologies as economic drivers and also review approaches to nanomaterial risk governance, the challenges to regulatory development, and principles for regulation and oversight of emerging technologies, including nanotechnology.

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