Rep. Kim Eul-dong delivers her opening speech at
a seminar on the direction of
policies on nanotechnology at the National
Assembly Parliamentarians’ Hall on April 18.
As nanotechnology, despite the attention paid to it as a new future industry, has health safety issues, the United States and European countries have revamped laws and systems for ensuring the safety of nanomaterials, but Korea is in the early stage of implementing nanotechnology safety certification standards and institutional reforms, Rep. Kim said.
Rep. Lee said in his welcoming speech, “Sixty countries, including Korea, around the globe have engaged in state-initiated research on nanotechnology. Since the value of the global nanotechnology market is projected to grow to $1.95 trillion in 2015, nanotechnology has huge potential.” He went on to say that safety issues of nanotechnology should not undermine the development of the nanotechnology industry and the exporting of nanotechnology-based products.
Prof. Yoo Il-jae of Hoseo University presented his lecture on the topic. No evidence of a direct negative impact from nanotechnology materials on human health have been found, but such indirect side effects of nanotechnology materials as ultra fine particles suggest possible harmful effects to human health. He noted that the state should take measures against the potential health risks of nanotechnology to further the development of the nanotechnology industry.
Prof. Yoo stressed the need for working out necessary steps for the creation of new convergence industries, such as the protection of student, research, and manufacturing crew members by ensuring the safety of research rooms and manufacturing plants and spurring the commercialization of nanotechnology-based products and ensuring the safety of consumers from nanotechnology-based items. He proposed major policies for ensuring the safety of nanotechnology such as legislation of a special act on the creation of new convergence industries based on nanotechnology and the establishment of a national nanotechnology safety center.
Among the participants of the discussion session, chaired by National Nanotechnology Policy Center President Kim Chang-woo, were Kim Kyu-seok, director in charge of manufacturing industry disasters at the Ministry of Employment and Labor; Kim Jun-sung, president of Biterials; Kim Jin-hyung, in charge of convergence technology at the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning; Kim Pil-jae, director in charge of harmful effects evaluation and research at the National Institute of Environmental Research; Park Hong-man, managing director at Hanwha Chemical; Song Nam-ung, senior researcher at Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science; and Lee Won-geun, a researcher at the NARS.