CIEL is leading international efforts by NGOs on nanotechnology; the burgeoning field built upon a new class of materials tens of thousands of times thinner than the width of a human hair, with revolutionary physical and chemical properties – and potential risks. As the pace of nanotechnology development increases, it is crucial to ensure that these technologies bring about true societal and environmental benefits, with limited risks to human health and the environment.
At such miniscule levels even familiar elements, such as gold or carbon, change and engage different physical properties, making their commercial applications seemingly limitless, however, questions remain about the potential toxic effects of these miniscule materials. Since the technology’s proliferation on the market, CIEL has led global efforts within civil society to implement precaution with respect to nanotechnologies and nanomaterials. This includes leading the nano working group of the International Persistent organic pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) and a partnership with ECOS and the Oko Institute to support the public interest in relation to nanomaterial development.