29 januari 2013
Nanotechnology is in rapid development at both the R&D and product levels. The market in 2009 was estimated to be $ 250 billion and is expected to grow by more than an order of magnitude in ten years. Nanotechnology and nanomaterials create opportunities in almost all technology areas.
Products include microelectronics and catalysts, nano-drugs and biochips, solar cells, consumer products like cosmetics, self-cleaning paints and bactericides. Over the past 10–15 years there has been a growing concern that nanomaterials (NM) and nanoparticles (NP) may, besides their many positive effects, pose risks to humans, the environment and ecosystems. NP sizes (1–100 nm) are in the subcellular regime and may interact with and affect cellular processes in organisms.
Society in general, including authorities, people on the street and industries, perceives it as important to estimate and handle those risks, especially as they are largely unknown and the knowledge base is fragmented.