Inventory Finds Increase in Consumer Products Containing Nanoscale Materials
Re-launched Inventory Seeks Input to Address Scientific Uncertainty
The updated Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory now contains 1,628 consumer products that have been introduced to the market since 2005, representing a 24 percent increase since the last update in 2010.
In addition to finding new products introduced to the market, the newly re-launched inventory seeks to address scientific uncertainty with contributions from those involved with nanomaterials production, use, and analysis.
This is the first major overhaul of the inventory, which was launched by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2005. This first-of-its-kind inventory tracks consumer products claiming to contain nanomaterials and has become one of the most frequently cited resources showcasing the widespread applications of nanotechnology.
The Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology worked with the Wilson Center to redevelop the inventory to improve the reliability, functionality, and scientific credibility of this database. Virginia Tech’s Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science provided funding for the effort.
The re-launched inventory seeks to “crowdsource” expertise in an effort to create an inventory with more accurate information on consumer products. Registered users are encouraged to submit relevant data pertaining to nanoparticle function, location, and properties; potential exposure pathways; toxicity; and lifecycle assessment, as well as add product data and information on new products.
“We hope scientists, policymakers, and citizens will contribute new information to the inventory,” says David Rejeski, director of the Wilson Center’s Science & Technology Innovation Program. “Broad participation, especially from the scientific community, will help make the inventory more accurate and useable over time.”
In the years since its launch, the inventory has been criticized because of its lack of scientific data. To address these concerns, this update adds qualitative and quantitative descriptors, such as size, concentration, and potential exposure routes for the nanomaterials contained in consumer products. It also includes published scientific data related to those products, where available, and adds a metric to assess the reliability of the data on each inventory entry.
The Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory can be found here: http://www.nanotechproject.org/cpi/
Those interested can register for an account for the inventory here: http://www.nanotechproject.org/cpi/account/request/
About the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology
Virginia Tech’s Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology is a multi-department, interdisciplinary research center focused on advancing nanoscale science and engineering research and education with an emphasis on sustainability. The center develops nanoscale technologies and leverages these them to help remedy global sustainability challenges in areas such as clean air and water, waste minimization, environmental remediation, food safety, and renewable energy. For more information, visit: http://www.sun.ictas.vt.edu/
About the Science & Technology Innovation Program
The Wilson Center’s Science & Technology Innovation Program (STIP) explores the scientific and technological frontier, stimulating discovery and bringing new tools to bear on public policy challenges that emerge as science advances. Work includes synthetic biology, nanotechnology, participatory technology assessment, geoengineering, additive manufacturing, and the application of information technologies, video games, and social media to public policy challenges. For more information, visit: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/program/science-and-technology-innovation-program
About The Wilson Center
The Wilson Center provides a strictly nonpartisan space for the worlds of policymaking and scholarship to interact. By conducting relevant and timely research and promoting dialogue from all perspectives, it works to address the critical current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world. For more information, visit: http://www.wilsoncenter.org