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Why Is Standardization Necessary?

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 09:39:20 +0900
Message-Id: <323E5052-2948-46D7-850D-E046CACB4D17@w3.org>
To: www-archive@w3.org

For the record.

* common language for trading
* better way of addressing public concerns and communication issues

Why Is Standardization Necessary?

Because nanotechnology is a brand new technology across many sectors,  
various research institutes, universities and company laboratories  
use the distinct terminologies, research approaches and evaluation  
methods of their own technology sectors.

This has led to two major concerns: the first is the lack of a common  
language for trade. Though it is necessary for a company that wants  
to develop, produce, or sell nanotechnology products to utilize  
various vendors%u2019 materials and parts, it would be impossible for  
the buyer to know to what extent it could believe the vendors%u2019  
reports if they used different terminologies for product performance  
and different evaluation methods. This problem is especially  
significant in nanotechnology because of its relevance among very  
disparate technology sectors.

The second concern is the lack of a basis on which to scientifically  
discuss and resolve the public%u2019s fears about nanotechnology. The  
mass media raise such fears as sensational topics every several  
months. The academic community and regulatory agencies also must  
seriously consider whether, when and/or how nanoparticles, which are  
almost comparable in size to protein molecules and genes, might  
penetrate into, accumulate in and do imperceptible harm to a human  
body or the environment.

When genetically modified organisms were developed in the past, an  
initial GMO boom was soon overwhelmed by strong concerns and fears  
raised by the public, regardless of a scientific debate. Industries  
related to nanotechnology seriously consider it necessary to have  
scientifically reasonable discussions in the early stages of  
development on whether nanotechnology and/or nanoparticles are really  
safe, or how they can be made safely, since the potential  
nanotechnology market in the future is inestimable.

However, it is actually impossible to designate a nanoparticle as  
dangerous or not; the answer would be totally different in each case,  
depending on a particle%u2019s composition, structure and/or surface  
situation. Moreover, there has been no consensus, even in academia,  
on how to accurately express such characteristics of a nanoparticle,  
nor on how to debate its safety based on what type of evaluation  
methodologies are used.
]]] -- ASTM International - Standards Worldwide
Thu, 16 Feb 2006 15:32:09 GMT

Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager, QA Activity Lead
   QA Weblog - http://www.w3.org/QA/
      *** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Thursday, 10 May 2007 00:40:18 UTC

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