Pesticide & Toxic Chemical News reports that chemical manufacturer DuPont and the nonprofit organization Environmental Defense are developing a joint framework for risk assessment of nanomaterials.  The framework itself is for "the responsible development, production, use and disposal of nano-scale materials that identifies, manages, and reduces potential risks across all lifecycle phases."

The partnership agreement outlines the relationship, and includes such areas as human health hazards, release and exposure potential, and occupational and environmental risk management.  The framework will primarily focus on the industrial, chemical, and manufacturing industries, and each partner will bear its own costs of research.  Further, the parties plan to involve additional stakeholders throughout the project in an effort to form a framework that will be widely accepted across all areas of nanotechnology.  Once the partnership is complete (following publication of the findings) all information will be released publicly for consideration.  A draft framework is available here, and is open for comment.

MEH:  This is exactly the type of partnership that will forward the research and understanding of nanotechnology impacts and how to address them.  By having two differing views involved, an understanding can be reached that can then be spread to the industry at-large.  The more stakeholders that get involved in the process, the better the resulting research and regulations will be.  This partnership is an excellent first step, and both DuPont and Environmental Defense should be commended for their initiative.