The use of life cycle tools to support decision making for sustainable nanotechnologies

Meyer, David; Upadhyayula, Venkata
April 2014
Clean Technologies & Environmental Policy;Apr2014, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p757
Academic Journal
Nanotechnology is a broad-impact technology with applications ranging from materials and electronics to analytical methods and metrology. The many benefits that can be realized through the utilization of nanotechnology are intended to lead to an improved quality of life. However, numerous concerns have been expressed regarding the unchecked growth of nanotechnology and the unforeseen consequences it may bring. To address the concerns, nanotechnology must be examined under the microscope of sustainability. This work applies the life cycle perspective to provide an understanding of the challenges facing the development of sustainable nanotechnology. A discussion of the holistic tools used to assess the components of sustainability serves as the basis to examine how a harmony between policy and product development can be maintained using decision making for sustainability. This harmony will be most readily achieved using an enhanced risk management strategy for sustainability that combines sustainability assessment with sustainable chemical design.


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