LONDON – The RITE Group conference will tackle the emerging issue of nanotechnology and safety in the textiles sector through Professor Vyvyan Howard, the leader of the Nano Systems Research Group at the University of Ulster, who will address delegates at the October conference in London.
Nanotechnology is an emerging field in the textile sector with a growing range of surface treatments being billed as using nano-sized particles. A nanometer is one-billionth of a metre, while in comparison, a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers in diameter.
Although this science has huge potential, despite significant private and public investment, progress moving nanomaterials from the laboratory to industrial production has been slow due to poor understanding of the new hazards introduced by nanotechnology; and lack of coordinated policies to manage any new risks regarding potential toxicity and human exposure.
However, regulators continue to review existing information and nanomaterial-specific measures have been introduced in the United States and Canada, with developments underway in Australia, France, and in the European Union under REACH. So it’s clear that new wider regulatory measures will be invoked which can be expected to impact manufacturers, importers, and users across the supply and value chains around the world including the textile sector.
Prof. Howard will raise these issues for the first time at the RITE Group conference in London and highlight the current state of awareness on nano-safety.
He has previously held the Presidencies of the Royal Microscopical Society and the International Society for Stereology and was the General Editor of the Journal of Microscopy from 1985-91. From 2007 to 2009 he was the President of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment, an organisation representing some 30,000 medical doctors around the world which has WHO and UN recognition. He served on the DEFRA Advisory Committee on Pesticides from 2002-2008 as a toxicologist.
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