Saturday, April 08, 2006

What We Don't Know About Workplace Exposures to Nanotechnology Materials

A fascinating article in today's Washington Post explores whether growth in the nanotechnology industry is outpacing scientific knowledge about the health effects of worker exposure to nanotechnology products.

Answer: it sure is. By some estimates, nanotechnology will become a $2.6 trillion industry within ten years. Right now, there are basically no regulatory standards. Of the $1.2 billion earmarked for the federal government's National Nanotechnology Initiative in 2007, only about 0.2% is allocated to studying workplace safety issues. See Rick Weiss, Nanotech Raises Worker-Safety Questions, Washington Post, Apr. 8, 2006, at A1.


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Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.