Defra launches nano initiative

Defra has today launched an initiative to work towards addressing any potential risks posed by the products of nanotechnologies.

The Voluntary Reporting Scheme invites industry, research organisations and others to provide the government with information on the engineered nanoscale materials with which they are working.

There is currently very little information available on the potential risks that these materials may pose to the environment and human health. The scheme is designed, together with a programme of government research, to address this knowledge deficit.

The scheme is voluntary and will run for a period of two years.

Commercial products that use engineered nanoscale materials include some sunscreens, paints, diesel fuel additives, and clothing.