A South African research agenda to investigate the potential environmental, health and safety risks of nanotechnology

Authors

  • Ndeke Musee Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), CSIR, PO Box 395, Pretoria 0001, South Afric
  • Alan Brent Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), CSIR, PO Box 395, Pretoria 0001
  • Peter Ashton Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), CSIR, PO Box 395, Pretoria 0001

Abstract

The South African perspective on nanotechnology, recently articulated through its national strategy, envisages nanotechnology to provide solutions to some of the country's key development challenges, such as the provision of safe water and the innovative delivery of health services. The adoption of nanotechnology is therefore being encouraged and nanomaterials are being manufactured on a small scale for research and development purposes. The national strategy places the most emphasis on supporting the design, manufacture, synthesis and characterisation of nanomaterials and developing human capital and infrastructure. However, South Africa has yet to develop a national research strategy to investigate the environmental, health and safety risks of nanotechnology. This paper provides a brief overview of the risk-related research challenges that have been reported internationally. These challenges form the basis of a research framework and a prioritised agenda is proposed to take research forward in the South African context. Ultimately, a greater understanding of the environmental, health and safety risks will help to ensure the long-term sustainability of nanotechnologies.

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Author Biography

Alan Brent, Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), CSIR, PO Box 395, Pretoria 0001

Graduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa

Published

2010-04-23

How to Cite

Musee, N., Brent, A., & Ashton, P. (2010). A South African research agenda to investigate the potential environmental, health and safety risks of nanotechnology. South African Journal of Science, 106(3/4), 6 pages. Retrieved from https://sajs.co.za/article/view/10171