85 Ind. L.J. Supp. 24 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/spplmntinlj2 and id is 1 raw text is: Beyond Chemicals: The Lessons that Toxic Substance
Regulatory Reform Can Learn from Nanotechnology
ScoTT BOMKAMP
INTRODUCTION
Nanotechnology is a revolution in applied science. By manipulating molecules on
the scale of billionths-of-a-meter, scientists have created materials that exhibit almost
magical feats of conductivity, reactivity, and optical sensitivity, among others.
Nanotechnology also has the potential to drive an economic revolution. Retailers
already sell over 300 products that incorporate nanotechnology,2 and according to one
estimate, nanotechnology will be a trillion-dollar-a-year industry by 2015.3 In
congressional testimony, Ray Kurzweil, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Kurzweil Techonologies, asserted that nanotechnology would result in the pervasive
miniaturization of all human industry by the middle of the twenty-first century.4 Part I
of this Article describes the emerging field of nanotechnology and its applications.
The tremendous economic benefit of nanotechnology, however, will come at a
price. Nanotechnology applications present novel, serious, and possibly irreversible
threats to human health and the environment. Recently, the field ofnanotoxicology has
been developed to characterize and quantify these threats.5 Part II of this Article
discusses the early research demonstrating health and environmental dangers
associated with nanotechnology.
Because of nanotechnology's mixed blessing, the United States government must
select a strategy to maximize nanotechnology's economic potential while containing its
health and environmental dangers. Part III of this Article argues that the best strategy is
to incorporate nanotechnology regulation into a general-purpose toxic substances
statute, such as by amending the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which is
intended to regulate all chemical substances at the point of manufacture.6
* Scott Bomkamp is a law clerk in the Northern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Court and a
2009 graduate of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. He dedicates this article to his
beautiful wife Kelli. who makes everything possible.
1. Ernie Hood, Nanotechnology: Looking as We Leap, 112 ENVTL. HEALTHPERSP. A740.
A741 (2004).
2. ScI. POLICY COUNCIL. ENVTL. PROT. AGENCY. NANOTECHNOLOGY WHITE PAPER 4
(2007). available athttp://epa.gov/ncer/nano/publications/whitepaperl2022005.pdf. Consumer
products that contain nanotechnology include socks. cosmetics. and toothpaste. Id. at 11.
3. M.C. Roco. Overview of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (Sept. 10. 2003),
http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/nano/reports/nni overview rdii.pdf.
4. The Societal Implications of Nanotechnology: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on
Science, 108th Cong. 58 (2003) (statement of Ray Kurzweil), available at
http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/science/hsy86340.000/
hsy86340_0f.htm [hereinafter Statement of Kurzweil].
5. See, e.g., Ginter Oberdorster, Eva Oberdorster & Jan Oberd6rster, Nanotoxicology: An
Emerging Discipline Evolving from Studies of Ultrafine Particles, 113 ENVTL. HEALTH PERSP.
823 (2005), available at http://www.ehponline.org/members/2005/7339/7339.pdf.
6. Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, 15 U.S.C. §§ 2601 2692 (2006).

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