11 Getting Nanotechnology Right the First Time

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John Balbus, Richard Denison, Karen Florini and Scott Walsh

Nanotechnology – the design and manipulation of materials at the molecular and atomic scale – has great potential to deliver environmental as well as other benefits. The novel properties that emerge as materials reach the nanoscale (changes in surface chemistry, reactivity, electrical conductivity, and other properties) open the door to innovations in cleaner energy production, energy efficiency, water treatment, environmental remediation, and ‘light-weighting’ of materials, among other applications, that provide direct environmental improvements.

At the same time, these novel properties may pose new risks to workers, consumers, ...

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