Potential Legal Avenues for Managing the Environmental Risks of Nanotechnology
We are on the verge of a nanotech revolution but to date almost no State has legislated effectively to manage the potential environmental risks that might be generated by nanoparticles. Instead, self-regulation and the creation of norms by other social actors have emerged to fill the gap. The temporality of these new forms of regulation—and the ability to deal with future risks—represent challenges for the legal order, which must intervene to grant legal effect to new regulatory production. By analysing publications from ISO TC229 (on nanotechnology) and the comprehensive principles regarding nanotechnologies and materials advanced by NanoAction (a project of the International Centre for Technology Assessment), this chapter proposes a new self-regulatory model to manage nanotechnological risks and serve as legal guidance for researchers, laboratories, research centres and nanoscale industries. Considering a range of social and environmental factors, the model systematically links the NanoAction principles to existing rules and principles in Brazilian law.
The authors would like to thank the following people. We are grateful to the various interviewees for the time they took to talk to us about their work, the anonymous referees for their very helpful suggestions, and various people at conferences, seminars, and so on, over the last few years for their comments on previous versions of this chapter. We are particularly grateful to the students and researchers of the JUSNANO Research Group (Brazil) and the Centro de Investigação e Desenvolvimento sobre Direito e Sociedade (CEDIS), the Faculdade de Direito da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) and the Instituto Jurídico Portucalense (IJP), and the Universidade Portucalense, Porto (Portugal).
This research has been conducted by the authors in the context of the following research projects:
1. ‘Nanotechnologies as an example of innovation: in search of structuring elements to evaluate the benefits and risks produced from the nanoscale in the scenario of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and of the Ethical, Legal and Social Impacts–ELSI’, Project Support Research/Call CNPq/MCTI (Brazil) n. 25/2015 Humanities, Social and Applied Social Sciences.
2. ‘Observatory on the Legal Impacts of Nanotechnologies: structuring essential elements for the development of dialogue between the Sources of Law from regulatory indicators to research and industrial production based on the nano scale’, Support for Research Projects/MCTI/CNPq/Universal 14/2014 (Brazil).
- Beck U (1992) Risk society: towards a new modernity (published in association with theory, culture & society). SAGE, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Brazil (2010) Law No. 12305 of 2 August 2010. http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2007-2010/2010/lei/l12305.htm. Accessed 18 Feb 2018
- Gatti AM, Montanari S (2008) Nanopathology. The health impact of nanoparticles. Pan Stanford, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
- He X, Hwang HM (2016) Nanotechnology in food science: functionality, applicability, and safety assessment. J Food Drug Anal 24(4):671–681. http://www.jfda-online.com/article/S1021-9498(16)30075-8/pdf. Accessed 18 Feb 2018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Interdisciplinarity (2015) Nature 525:325. http://www.nature.com/news/interdisciplinarity-1.18295. Accessed 18 Feb 2018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- ISO/TC 229 (2017). http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_technical_committee?commid=381983. Accessed 18 Feb 2018
- Luhmann N (1990) Sociedad y sistema: la ambición de la teoría. Paidós, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
- Materials on the Nanoscale—uniform description system version 2.0 (2016) Chem Int 38(6):25–25. https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2016-0620
- Maynard AD (2011) Do not define nanomaterials. Nature 475:31. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v475/n7354/full/475031a.html. Accessed 18 Feb 2018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nadoveza D, Koukias A, Karakoyun F, Kiritsis D (2013) A concept for graph-based LCA analysis tool. In: Conference: advances in production management systems (APMS), Sep 2013, State College, PA, United States, vol 415. Springer, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, AICT, Berlin, pp 410–417. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-41263-9_51
- NanoAction (2007) Principles for the oversight of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/final-pdf-principles-for-oversight-of-nanotechnologies_80684.pdf. Accessed 18 Feb 2018
- Nature Nanotechnology (2016) A matter of scale. v.II, set. 2006 (editorial). https://www.nature.com/articles/nnano.2016.180. Accessed 24 Feb 2018
- OECD (2017) Working party on nanotechnology (WPN): vision statement. https://www.oecd.org/sti/nano/oecdworkingpartyonnanotechnologywpnvisionstatement.htm. Retrieved 18 May 2019
- Owen D (2011) The conundrum: how scientific innovation, increased efficiency, and good intentions can make our energy and climate problems worse. Penguin Group, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Schwab K (2016) The fourth industrial revolution. Edipro, São PauloGoogle Scholar
- Snir R, Ravid G (2015) Global nanotechnology regulatory governance from a network analysis perspective. Forthcoming in Regulation & Governance, pp 1–31. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2626808. Accessed 26 Feb 2018
- StatNano (2017) Nanotechnology products database 2017. http://product.statnano.com/. Accessed 18 Feb 2018
- Stone V et al (2016) Research priorities relevant to development or updating of nano-relevant regulations and guidelines. http://www.safenano.org/news/news-articles/eu-nanosafety-cluster-publishes-research-regulatory-roadmap. Retrieved 18 May 2019
- Stone V et al (2017) Research priorities relevant to development or updating of nano-relevant regulations and guidelines. http://www.safenano.org/news/news-articles/eu-nanosafety-cluster-publishes-research-regulatory-roadmap. Accessed 18 Feb 2018
- Ulijn RV, Riedo E (2016) Learning to think systems. Nat Nanotech 11:824. http://www.nature.com/nnano/journal/v11/n9/full/nnano.2016.161.html. Accessed 18 Feb 2018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vaseashta A (2015) Life cycle analysis of nanoparticles: risk, assessment, and sustainability. DEStech Publications, LancasterGoogle Scholar