CIEL Calls on Governments to Adopt Precautionary Mechanisms for Nanotechnologies

December 22, 2009

Describing the current marketing of nano applications as a “life-scale experiment,” CIEL Senior Attorney David Azoulay called for the establishment of governance mechanisms based on precaution and sustainability for nanomaterials at recent workshops organized by the United Nation Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The UNITAR-OECD awareness-raising workshops on nanotechnology, held in Beijing and Lodz, Poland, were intended to further the implementation of the Strategic Approach for International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

Representing civil society members of the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) nanotechnology working group, CIEL called on governments and industry to:

  • Establish a global governance process for nanomaterials that is transparent,
    inclusive, equitable and driven by strong sustainability,
  • Fund and conduct research on the human health and environmental risks
    of nanomaterials throughout their life cycle before nanomaterials can
    be sold commercially;
  • Recognize the right to know and right to choose for consumers and
    workers in respect to nanotechnologies and nanomaterials;
  • Recognize the right of countries to reject particular applications
    or uses of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials; and
  • Engage all sectors of civil society in the development and establishment
    of coherent regulatory frameworks and research strategies for nanotechnologies
    and nanomaterials.

Please click here for the full text of the IPEN nanotechnologies working group briefing paper containing these demands.

Additional information on this series of workshops as well as presentations and documents can be found here or by contacting David Azoulay.