ted by Orion Magazine (Pandora's Box or Panacea?) . Audio of the show here.
Well came away with more questions than answers. Maybe that's why your hear as well. Some of us have heard of this but really is it a "household" word? I'd be willing to be most folks have never really heard of it and if they have most don't understand it. Thus why now more than ever it needs to be discussed, not out of fear but because it WILL effect all of us.
Nanotechnology broken down into crayon- creating new materials on the atomic level (ie smaller than microscopic).
Concerns- could cause cancer, mutation, death. Could wipe out humanity. You know small concerns like that.
Reality- Its been and is being used regularly in industry and has been for at least since the 80's with Bucky balls, etc. So no real extinction level event but still could be the new asbestos type health concern. Back in the day everyone thought it was the wonder material.....
Other problems with testing and regulating- is how the hell do you test something you don't really understand?
PEN- Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies has some great information for a more indepth look at Nanotechnology.
So here's the rub, its a newer technology that promises us all these wonderful materials like t-shirts that weight less but are stronger than steel or medicines that work better and faster and better computers. Problem is no one really knows what happens when these things get thrown out or burned or bio degrade and long range potential effects.
Nano particles occur naturally then again so does uranium and asbestos. People raise concerns that we are plowing headlong into this technology and adapting it without studying potential risks. Such as the nano tech that is already being used in our food supply! As well many of our colleagues have raised concerns about nano vaccines and potential misuse or even direct harm!
Just in checking into this I came across and advertisement saying dip your cell phone in nanotech to make it water proof! It started making me think of the old xray machines they used to have in shoe stores. Back then they thought xray's were safe. We know better now, but could the nanotech be tomorrows fluoroscopes?
Stay tuned we will be keeping an eye on this topic.