Developing an Ecological Risk Framework to Assess Environmental Safety of Nanoscale Products

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The nanotechnology industry is developing rapidly and promises to spawn many exciting products in the field of medicine, manufacturing, and various environmental fields, such as bio-control agents, and remediation catalysts. However, as legitimate questions of environmental safety go unanswered, opposition to the industry is accelerating just as rapidly. Unique physico-chemical properties of compounds within the nano-range present unknown toxicities relative to similar substances of larger dimensions. There is a critical need for a framework to assess risk of nanoscale particles that both the public and industry can accept.