This article was authored and contributed by Terrence F. Smith, Director of Government Affairs, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.

The report of the Nanomaterials Advisory Committee was on the agenda at the July 28 meeting of the Cambridge City Council. The Council’s actions bode well for continued manufacturing, processing, research and development using nanotechnology in Cambridge. The Council accepted the report of the Nanomaterials Advisory Committee with little comment and placed the report on file.

The discussion was brief. Councillor Davis, who filed the original order, said she was satisfied with the report. City Manager Healy stated that the report is balanced and the next steps will provide the City with a better idea of who does what in Cambridge. He also said that the LEPC has prepared the survey recommended in the report. Councillor Murphy said that the report reflects on the strengths of the Cambridge Public Health Department and the ability of the City to bring together “World Class” experts on the Nanomaterials Advisory Committee.

There was a question about nanomaterials getting into the City water supply. The Manager stated that he did not know whether it is possible to test for nano, as the City had done for pharmaceutical products several months ago, but would look into it. It should be noted that Massachusetts strictly regulates industrial wastewater. The Council took no formal action regarding this request but this issue may come up again.

If readers wish to view the discussion, the video of the meeting should be posted later this week on the City of Cambridge website at The discussion took place beginning around 8:15 p.m. which would be about 2 hours and 45 minutes into the meeting.

Terrence F. Smith
Director of Government Affairs
Cambridge Chamber of Commerce
859 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-876-4213