UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launches voluntary reporting scheme

The UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a scheme to assess the potential risks of nanotechnology.

Their Voluntary Reporting Scheme will collate information from industrial and academic researchers about the physical and toxicological properties of the nanoscale materials they work with, in order to help understand what impact they might have on health and the environment.

The scheme will run until September 2008, and will supplement the government’s own research into this area.

’It is critical that as many companies and organizations as possible get involved,’ said Defra minister Lord Rooker. 

’[The scheme] is a very important step in ensuring that we have appropriate controls in place for engineered materials at the nanoscale,’ said Michael Pitkethly, chairman of the Nanotechnologies Industry Association. 

’This is a step forward for establishing both a necessary database as well as maintaining public trust,’ added Gabriel Aeppli, director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology at University College, UK. 

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