Regulating Nanotech

New technologies always bring with them inherent benefits as well as risks. Nanotechnology is one such example. From sun-tan lotions to tennis racquets, it’s estimated the number of consumer products on the market incorporating nanomaterials totaled 475 as of May 2007, more than double the 212 products on the market in March 2006. The ever-increasing array of products and procedures using nanotechnology challenges insurers, as enablers of scientific advances and new technologies, to better understand this emerging exposure going forward. A report released this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Nanotechnology Task Force therefore makes for interesting reading. Specifically, the FDA’s Nanotechnology Task Force report addresses regulatory and scientific issues and recommends the agency consider developing guidance to address the benefits and risks of drugs and medical devices using nanotechnology. The report also says the FDA should work to assess data needs to better regulate nanotechnology products, including biological effects and interactions of nanoscale materials. Something to think about.  

One thought on “Regulating Nanotech”

  1. Currently there is a lot of financial horsepower behind this emerging industry including Federal Government funding (21st Century Nanotechnology Research And Development Act) as well as Wall Street’s interest in developing nanotechnology based investment vehicles (PowerShares Lux Nanotech Portfolio – PXN).

    The effects of nanotech (to persons & environment) are not completely understood as the technology is so new.

    Therefore, it is surprising that their seems to be no differentiation in treatment of this exposure in terms of Underwriting or Product Development.

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