Nanotech and the oil spill

As BP and government agencies struggle to stem the devastating flow of oil now hitting the Louisiana coast, there is growing desperation to find a solution -- and fast. Green Earth Technologies, Inc. (GET) is seeking approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to disperse manufactured nanoparticles in the Gulf of Mexico to remedy the oil spill. IATP and more than a dozen other organizations think this is a bad idea.

In a letter organized by Friends of the Earth, IATP and others urged EPA to deny approval of this project. Manufactured nanoscale chemicals measure less than 300 nanometers. A human hair is about 80,000 to 100,000 nanometers. The large surface to volume ratio of nanoparticles is supposed to prevent the oil from coagulating and then being carried by ocean currents to damage coastal areas. The problem is that nanoparticles have been found to be toxic to humans, mammals and aquatic life. Manufactured nanoparticles can travel up the food chain from smaller to larger organisms. In this case, the exact composition of nanoparticles being used by Green Earth Technologies are trade secrets so the extent of toxicity is unknown.

The groups wrote, "We understand the enormous technical and regulatory challenges posed by the oil spill. However, two wrongs do not make a right. Exacerbating this grave situation by allowing GET to add pollutants to contaminated land and water should not be allowed, especially considering that the GET nanoparticles could be impossible to recover once introduced into the environment. We fully oppose this irresponsible, unscientific and dangerous experiment."

IATP has been looking into food and agriculture applications of nanotechnology and the lack of strong regulations to protect the environment and public health.

Read the full letter on nanotech and the oil spill.

    Comments

    nanotech's non-regulation

    It's important to recognize that the EPA does not have a regulatory system in place for nanotechnology to ensure safety. This is a situation of scientific advancement jumping way ahead of our ability to ensure safety or even effectiveness. Right now, the EPA has a voluntary system for companies to submit data on nano-materials. But the agency has admitted on several occasions that companies regularly ignore the voluntary system. So, we have no public data on exactly what nanomaterials are being used, or what type of safety testing has been done on the product's effects on the environment or public health - making impossible to do a credible assessment. Perhaps this situation will spur the EPA and other government agencies to establish a credible regulatory system for introducing new nano-materials into the environment. Until then, we're flying blind.

    One-sided story

    I would think a true journalist would present both facts and not pure speculation. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like GET was asked to present its case. Shameful journalism.

    Nanotech and the Oil Spill

    I am an environmentalist. While Friends of the Earth's motive may come from the right place they seem to have little grounding in science. They seem to have a general fear of nano particles. The world is made up of nano-particles. Not all are harmful and each needs to be looked at individually. They seem to have no specifics on the GET product. No testing, No chemical makeup data , etc.. Only offered were general remarks and fear about nano-particles. Makes me wonder where their funding comes from.

    It is imperative that we move now to save the Gulf and wetlands. The wetlands provide the start of the food chain for the richest areas of the Gulf. In addition they provide an important barrier from hurricanes. If the wetlands are allowed to fill with oil, the grasses will die, and along with it the life forms that rely on the wetlands. The hurricane barrier will also slowly disappear. They need to be saved and now.

    Should the GET solution work and allow the oil to be incased by nano- particles and consumed by resident bacteria it would seem to be the only solution to saving the wetlands. There are many good bacteria that often take in “bad” substances and omit good. The only way to know is for the EPA to do real testing, not a wholesale fear of nano particles. Take some gulf water with oil in it. I am an environmentalist. While Friends of the Earth's motive may come from the right place they seem to have little grounding in science. They seem to have a general fear of nano particles. The world is made up of nano-particles. Not all are harmful and each needs to be looked at individually. They seem to have no specifics on the GET product. No testing, No chemical makeup data , etc.. Only offered were general remarks and fear about nano-particles. Makes me wonder where their funding comes from.

    It is imperative that we move now to save the Gulf and wetlands. The wetlands provide the start of the food chain for the richest areas of the Gulf. In addition they provide an important barrier from hurricanes. If the wetlands are allowed to fill with oil, the grasses will die, and along with it the life forms that rely on the wetlands. The hurricane barrier will also slowly disappear. They need to be saved and now.

    Should the GET solution work and allow the oil to be incased by nano- particles and consumed by resident bacteria it would seem to be the only solution to saving the wetlands. There are many good bacteria that often take in “bad” substances and omit good. The only way to know is for the EPA to do real testing, not a wholesale fear of nano particles. Take some gulf water with oil in it. Please some oysters in it. Place in some GET. Test the oysters in two weeks time.

    Read this first then

    Read this first then send it back to the bad reporter that did not check the facts first.

    http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/blog/nanoparticles-damage-dna...

    GETG

    So at this point what is the answer ? You have a company offering their product to help solve a crisis ( Green Earth Technologies ). So what do all the good folks opposing this company / technology suggest ? Keep dumping more Corexit 9500 ? Wake up folks

    NanoParticles: Toxicity Inconclusive

    A Case of Toxicity Is presently indeterminant, and the use of such world is generalized.

    “In the field of chemical analysis, we have standard tests that tell us whether or not a material is toxic. Today, there are no such tests of nanoparticles that are 100% accurate, so this is something that scientists are currently working on at international level,” says Booth, adding that he believes that it is extremely difficult to put products that are a danger to health on the market.

    http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=12802.php

     

     

    Nano

    Has anyone researched what crude oil does to an environment? I think the signess of this malicious and false diatribe against progress might do well to do a little research. The approval process is heavily regulated and should the product meet the standards, then the product should be used and used immediately.


    The amount of oil pouring into the estuary that is the gulf is devastating. The folks here who aim to protect the environment urge the government to not try and use a 100% organic solution becuase they fear nanotechnology? WHat is our other recourse? Make the gulf a lake of oil? Let BP continue to pour their toxic solution? hope?


    The salesman for GET drink the stuff!!!! GET REAL!


     

    not toxic

    But GET's products have been certified as having zero toxicity: http://www.getg.com/companyProfile.php " Chemicals, when stored or transported use a diamond shape diagram of symbols and numbers to indicate the degree of hazard associated with a particular chemical or material. The degree of health hazard of a material should indicate the degree of personal protective equipment required for working safely with the material; "0" is harmless, "1" requires safety glasses and gloves, "2" requires chemical goggles, work smock and local ventilation and "3" or "4" requires a respirator, full face shield, rubber apron, specialized gloves and handling tongs. When it comes to health or toxicity, GET-Products score a "0"!" Just because _some_ nanotech devised chemicals have been shown to be harmful, that does not preclude nanotech designed chemicals from being totally green—like GET is and remains committed to being.