Free Essay On Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the "reconfiguration" of matter at the atom or molecular level in order to come up with adaptable materials with a wide range of applications. Due to the technology’s promising potential, investment and research in nanotechnology have been stepped up by governments such as the Japan, the United States, and the European Union. However, concerns have been raised pertaining to the adverse effects of the technology. It is feared that the proliferation of nanotechnology and the subsequent development and use of nanomaterials would lead to the release of toxic materials that would cause environmental degradation. Also, exposure to nanomaterials has been known to cause health problems such as cancer, heart problems, and mesothelioma. Finally, it is feared that the large scale use of nanomaterials will replace the use of conventional materials, which can upset global economies. This is a paper on nanotechnology, its adverse effects, and their appropriate control measures.
Regulation is taunted as a possible panacea to all the adverse effects of nanotechnology. Stakeholders propose regulations similar to the ones posed to other potentially harmful technologies such as nuclear energy, genetically modified food, biotechnology among others. Dr. Andrew Maynard of Woodrow Wilson Center’s Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies argues that the high investment and commitment to nanotechnology development are not accompanied by appropriate funding for research in human health and safety. Replacement of ordinary materials with nanomaterials is inevitable and cannot be controlled through regulations owing to the various advantages of nanotechnology over conventional materials.
Nanotechnology is a promising technology that could drastically alter the course of the science of materials. However, there is need to temper the advancements in the technology with appropriate regulations in order to minimize the external costs of the technology on the environment and public health.