More investment in nanotechnology research needed, says National Research Council

Insurance NewsScientists from the National Research Council in the U.S. are urging insurers to invest more money in studying nanotechnology. The technology has advanced significantly in the past decade and now holds major promise in medical applications and consumer products. Council scientists say that the potential health hazards of the technology are not yet fully understood and that an additional $24 million a year is required to fill in the knowledge shortfall. Without an intimate understand of the risks associated with nanotechnology, consumers could face unforeseen dangers that will have a major impact on the insurance industry.

Scientists are suggesting that the Environmental Protection Agency establish a new organization whose sole purpose is to study and calculate the risks associated with nanotechnology. They cite claims from the Centers for Disease Control that suggests that nanoparticles have the potential to penetrate skin and move into organs. There is no evidence that suggests that these particles can cause significant damage or illnesses, but there is also not enough evidence to the contrary.

Nanotechnology is slated to become a major part of society within the next decade. The nanotechnology sector is estimated to be worth $225 billion at present and is expected to grow quickly as the technology becomes more advanced an pliable to the whims of researchers. It may be becoming an issue too important for insurers to ignore any longer, especially when the technology comes into contact with the medical world.

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