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Nanotechnology: a brave new world requires bold new research approaches.

Nanotechnology opens new worlds of possibilities for important computer, medical, and environmental applications. To ensure nanotechnology is developed in a responsible manner, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) awarded $38 million to establish two Centers for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINs). U.S. EPA contributed $5 million to the overall award, which is the largest award for nanotechnology research in the agency's history. The new centers will conduct research on the possible environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanomaterials, using very different approaches than previous studies.

"Nanotechnology is an exciting field, with the promise of dramatic benefits for the environment," said U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Working together, EPA and NSF can improve our scientific understanding of nanoscale materials, develop the appropriate risk-assessment framework, and make appropriate risk-management decisions."

The CEINs are an important addition to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, and will build on NSF's Center for Biological and Environmental Technologies and U.S. EPA's Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants on nanotechnology. Led by the University of California at Los Angeles and Duke University, the CEINs will study how nanomaterials interact with the environment and human health, resulting in better risk assessment and mitigation strategies to be used in the commercial development of nanotechnology. Each center will work as a network, connected to multiple research organizations, industry, and government agencies, and will emphasize interdisciplinary research and education.

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Title Annotation:EH Update
Publication:Journal of Environmental Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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