Safety Concerns with Nanotechnology: Knowing the Risks and Benefits

Nanotechnology is one of the hottest scientific discoveries of the present times. This is because nanotechnology presents a lot of promise that all other treatment methodologies before it were unable to deliver. Moreover, nanotechnology also saw applications in other areas aside from the fields it was intended for. As a result, the fields of applications of nanotechnology are as varied as the possible risks that come with it. As such, safety concerns with nanotechnology aired by ordinary citizens and experts alike must not be ignored because it is one of the ways to make the technology very safe for anyone using them.

Common Concerns with Nanotechnology

The following are some of the most common concerns expressed by people on the use of nanotechnology:

  • Nanotechnology is a new scientific application. Although this can also mean to be a benefit for mankind, there are safety concerns related to its applications mainly because of the fact that it is something that is not yet fully tested. One of the safety concerns with nanotechnology in this field involves the application of the technology in medical and health fields. Some are afraid that they might trigger harmful effects instead of the intended beneficial effects.

  • Because nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular levels, there are fears that such manipulation may result to the production of materials that will radically alter man’s way of life. This is seen especially to be dangerous in the field of medical applications where nano particles are used in various ways such as sunscreen and injectable medications. Safety concerns with nanotechnology in these areas are heightened because such manipulation of matter may trigger the body to react in a negative way to the presence of nanotechnology products.
  • There are also fears that the environment may be placed in jeopardy that nanotechnology products may increase the pollution level in many areas at a time when the need for environmental conservation is vigorously pursued everywhere. For example, the production of better engines for automotives and windows for cars may prompt car manufacturers and local dealers to wantonly discard these parts that can possibly cause environmental nightmare with the absence of better programs on waste disposal. An interesting twist here is nanotechnology is a thriving business in the United States, amounting to billions of dollars. However, despite all these income, very little thought is spared for health and environmental concerns. Because nano particles are very small, they are very difficult to degrade and may easily pass on from one person to another, in the process becoming agents of ailments.
  • Another of the numerous safety concerns with nanotechnology is the lack of a centralized monitoring agency that will see to it that all endeavors in this field are religiously monitored. As a proof of this, there are very little journals and researches on the safety concerns with nanotechnology that inevitably enhances the fears that people may have on this technological applications and advancements.

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