How safe is Nanotechnology research in Southeast Asia

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Researchers in Malaysia are asking whether existing legal and regulatory frameworks in Southeast Asia are robust enough to consider the safety issues surrounding the technology.

Hailed by some as the “next industrial revolution”, nanotechnology is likely to have far reaching impacts on every aspect of our lives, from the clothes we wear to the medicines we take.

The International Labour Organization has predicted that by 2020, 20% of all consumer and industrial products will use nanotechnology.

his is a world so small that it cannot be seen through a light microscope. However, the properties that make nanotechnology so promising – the ability to manipulate matter at atomic and molecular levels – have also raised health and safety concerns given the incredibly fast research developments in this field. Various countries have developed online programs, such as the European Community’s “Nanopinion“, to educate their citizens about nanotechnology as well as review regulations surrounding nanotechnology research.

Legal researcher Mohammad Ershadul Karim at the University of Malaya is looking into the legalities of nanotechnology research in Asia. Karim has found that there are significant challenges to developing a proper legal framework as our understanding of the exact dangers of nanoparticles on human health and the environment is limited.

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