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Concerns about the environmental impact of nanoparticles

This is Science Today. Nanotechnology is considered to be the next revolution in technology and already, the first generation of nanoparticles are being manufactured for products ranging from sunscreen to carbon nanotubes used in baseball bats and bicycles. Rick Kelly, an Environmental Health and Safety Manager at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, says there are concerns about the environmental impact of these materials.

Kelly:              Maybe in at least some of the cases, the new stuff that's going to evolve out of nanotechnology is potentially harmful to workers or to the environment or even to consumers. As it stands now, there is close to nothing...very little for government regulation of nanomaterials.

Narrator:        As a result, at the Berkeley Lab, Kelly says they put into place very conservative controls and treat materials as if they're toxic...

Kelly:              Even if we don't know if they're toxic, with the intent protecting people in the environment. Until we know for sure whether or not these materials are going to be hazardous.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.