Researchers from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have identified pollutants and other "substances of concern" created during the production process for carbon nanotubes.  This is an important discovery given that nanotubes are thought to be the building block of the future nanotech industry.

Note that the pollution issues researchers identified are not a result of the nanotubes themselves, but rather are by-products of the process used to create nanotubes. In this way, nanotube production can be equated with any other technological production process, such as plastics or electronics.

Having said that, though, this research is important because the potential problems with nanotube production can be addressed and accounted for early, rather than late.  As Desiree Plata, one of the researchers stated, "Without this work, the environmental and health impacts of the carbon nanotube industry could be severe and costly to repair. . .We would like to help it develop in an environmentally sustainable fashion."

This, I believe, is the concept addressed by The Nano Ethics Group, which I discussed here, put into practice.  By allowing the industry to develop, researchers were able to study the potential impacts and bring problems to light in a timely fashion.  Now, the concerns can be addressed on a going-forward basis.