The potential overall impact of nanotechnologies on society has been heralded as being on- par with the industrial revolution, and few technologies have triggered as many comments, hopes, fears, and radical statements as nanotechnology. Nanoscience and nanotechnologies are revolutionizing our understanding of matter and are likely to have profound implications for all sectors of society. Products incorporating nanomaterials (commonly referred to as nanoproducts) are already on the market in sectors as diverse as agriculture and food, energy production and efficiency, the automotive industry, cosmetics, medical appliances and drugs, household appliances, sporting equipment, textiles, computers, and weapons.
This report provides a general overview of nanomaterials (Section 1), their potential impact on health and the environment (Section 2), the current market situation of nanomaterials and nanoproducts (Section 3), and a general study of regulatory initiatives relating to the management of nanomaterials (Section 4). To conclude, recommendations for the design and implementation of adequate regulatory mechanisms to safely manage nanomaterials are presented (Section 5). The special situation in the Global South is highlighted throughout the report.