So clearly there are potential dangers – but there is simply not enough information available to determine whether these dangers are real, or whether these results have been due more to clinical factors rather than to any significant hazard.
However, given past issues with toxic substances such as asbestos, PCBs, heavy metals, and other environmental toxins, it certainly makes sense to be cautious with nanotechnology.
This year, the EPA has begun taking steps to start regulating the use of nanomaterials in industry, particularly in response to the studies indicating possible asbestos-like toxic effects.
Earlier this year, the agency launched a study to obtain more information about nanomaterials, and in the meantime has developed some initial regulations, to be followed by companies which use nanomaterials.
“Significant new use" of nanomaterials is now regulated under the under the Toxic Substances Control Act, meaning that any individual or company must provide the EPA with 90 days notice before beginning to import, manufacture, or process nanomaterials.