advocacy organization Environmental Defense and Wilmington, Del.-based science-based products and
services company DuPont have released a draft of A Framework for Responsible Nanotechnology for
public consideration. The two organizations now are soliciting public feedback in order to
fine-tune the document and provide the “greatest degree of relevance” for nanotechnology
applications in all sectors, with the expectation of publishing a final framework this summer.
The framework is intended to provide a flexible, practical system for assessing possible
environmental, health and safety risks related to nanoscale materials; and for documenting and
communicating methods and parameters to deal with those risks. “We believe that the adoption of the
Framework can promote responsible development of nanotechnology products, facilitate public
acceptance, and support the formulation of a practical model for reasonable government policy on
nanotechnology safety,” the draft framework states.
Environmental Defense and DuPont began their collaboration to develop the framework in
September 2005, putting together a multidisciplinary team comprised of experts from both
organizations in the fields of science, medicine, law, occupational safety and health, product
development and business development. The team received initial feedback from government, academic,
private-business and public-interest sectors; and incorporated that input into the draft framework.
They are currently pilot-testing the framework on a range of materials and applications, and they
are welcoming additional input, including any feedback from companies developing nanotechnology and
related products in the textile sector, in order to broaden its scope. The deadline for submitting
feedback is March 30.
The draft framework and an editable worksheet are available at
March 6, 2007