Fwd: ETC Group: COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Design a Nano-Hazard Symbol

Posted by ryan griffis | Tue Oct 10th 2006 3:31 p.m.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: etcgroup@lists.etcgroup.org
> Date: October 10, 2006 4:10:02 PM CDT
> To: etcgroup@lists.etcgroup.org
> Subject: ETC Group: COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Design a Nano-Hazard
> Symbol
> Reply-To: etc@etcgroup.org, etcgroup@lists.etcgroup.org
> COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Design a Nano-Hazard Symbol
> ETC Group announces International Graphic Design Competition
> Biotechnology, nuclear power, toxic chemicals, electromagnetic
> radiation -- each of these technological hazards has a universally
> recognized warning symbol associated with it. So why not
> nanotechnology -- the world's most powerful (and potentially
> dangerous) technology?
> Concerned citizens everywhere are invited to submit their designs
> for a universal Nanotechnology Hazard Symbol at: http://
> www.etcgroup.org/nanohazard
> Entries will be judged by a panel of eminent judges convened by the
> ETC Group (Action Group on Erosion Technology and Concentration,
> www.etcgroup.org). These judges include Dr. Vyvyan Howard (Editor
> of the Journal of Nanotoxicity), Dr. Gregor Wolbring (The Canadian
> Advisory Commitee on Nanotech Standardisation), Chee Yoke Ling
> (Third World Network), Claire Pentecost (Associate Professor and
> Chair of the Photography Department at the School of the Art
> Institute of Chicago), Rory O'Neill (Editor of Hazards magazine)
> and Dr. Alexis Vlandas (Nanotechnology Spokesperson for
> International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global
> Responsibility). Entries will also be judged by participants at the
> World Social Forum, Nairobi, Kenya, 20-25 January 2007.
> The winning entry will be submitted to international standard-
> setting bodies responsible for hazard characterisation, to
> international governmental organisations and to national
> governments as a proposed symbol for nanotechnology hazards.
> Closing date: 8 January 2007
> A gallery of entries submitted will be available at http://
> www.etcgroup.org
> Why Do We Need a Nano-Hazard Symbol?
> Nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter at the tiny level of
> atoms and molecules, has created a new class of materials with
> unusual properties and new toxicities.
> It used to be that nanotechnology was the stuff of science fiction.
> Today, however, there are over one thousand nanotechnology
> companies worldwide. Nanoparticles, nanotubes and other engineered
> nanomaterials are already in use in hundreds of everyday consumer
> products, raising significant health, safety and environmental
> concerns. Nanoparticles are able to move around the body and the
> environment more readily than larger particles of pollution.
> Because of their extremely small size and large surface area
> nanoparticles may be more reactive and more toxic than larger
> particles of the same substance. They have been compared to
> asbestos by leading insurance companies who worry their health
> impact could lead to massive claims. At least one US-based
> insurance company has canceled coverage of small companies involved
> with nanotechnology. Unlike more familiar forms of pollution
> arising from new technologies, nano-hazards (potentially
> endangering consumers, workers and the environment) have yet to be
> fully characterized, regulated or even subject to safety testing.
> The US Food and Drug Administration will have its first public
> meeting about regulating nanomaterials on October 10, 2006. Most
> governments worldwide have yet to even begin thinking about nano-
> regulation. Nonetheless, nanoparticles invisible to the naked eye
> are already in foods, cosmetics, pesticides and clothing without
> even being labelled. Every day laboratory and factory workers could
> be inhaling and ingesting nanoparticles while the rest of us may be
> unwittingly putting them on our skin, in our body or in the
> environment.
> It's not just a safety question. Nanotechnology also raises new
> societal hazards: The granting of patents on nano-scale materials
> and processes, and even elements of the periodic table, allows for
> increased corporate power and monopoly over the smallest parts of
> nature. Some designer nanomaterials may come to replace natural
> products such as cotton, rubber and metals -- displacing the
> livelihoods of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in
> the world. In the near future the merger of nanotechnology with
> biotechnology (in nano-biotechnology applications such as synthetic
> biology) will lead to new designer organisms, modified at the
> molecular level, posing new biosafety threats. Nano-enabled
> technologies also aim to 'enhance' human beings and 'fix' the
> disabled, a goal that raises troubling ethical issues and the
> specter of a new divide between the technologically "improved" and
> "unimproved."
> ETC Group has called for a moratorium on nanoparticle production
> and release to allow for a full societal debate and until such time
> as precautionary regulations are in place to protect workers,
> consumers and the environment. Standard setting bodies around the
> world are now scrambling to agree on nomenclature that can describe
> nanoparticles and nanomaterials. A common, internationally-
> recognized symbol warning of the presence of engineered
> nanomaterials is equally overdue.
> For a short and simple introduction to Nanotechnology see "A Tiny
> Primer on Nano-scale Technologies," available online: http://
> www.etcgroup.org/en/materials/publications.html?idU
> Details Of The Competition:
> We are asking concerned people everywhere (including artists,
> designers, scientists, students, regulators and members of the
> public) to submit possible designs for an international Nano-Hazard
> warning symbol that could be used to identify the presence of
> nanmoaterials. This symbol could, for example, be placed on
> products containing nanomaterials, in laboratories or factories
> where workers handle nanoparticles, or on containers transporting
> nanomaterials. The symbol should be simple, easy to recognize and
> communicate clearly the new, potential hazards that result when
> matter is manipulated at the nanoscale (1 billionth of a metre --
> the size of atoms and molecules).
> We encourage participants to be as creative as possible in
> inventing a new nano-hazard symbol. Images can be designed on
> computer or by hand, scanned, photographed or otherwise rendered in
> 2 dimensions -- either using colour or in black and white. Entries
> will be judged on their conceptual as well as artistic merit.
> Descriptions and explanations accompanying the entries will be very
> welcome.
> For examples of existing hazard warning symbols for comparison see
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazard_symbol
> Participants can submit as many different entries as they wish.
> Each entry should be submitted seperately. Entries can be submitted
> in one of 3 ways:
> 1) Upload electronically using the upload form at http://
> www.etcgroup.org/nanohazard
> 2) Email as a jpeg or gif file to nanohazard@etcgroup.org
> 3) Send by post to Nano-Hazard Competition, ETC Group, 431 Gilmour
> Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 0R5. Canada
> Please include your name, country and a contact email or postal
> address.
> All submitted entries will be treated as non-copyright and in the
> public domain unless the submitter wishes to place them under a
> creative commons license allowing free non-commercial use (see
> details here http://www.creativecommons.org). Entries submitted
> with copyright conditions (other than creative commons) will not be
> considered. Entries sent by post will not be returned.
> The closing date for entries is 8th January 2007.
> Judging will be in two parts:
> Judging Panel: A selection of entries will first be made by a panel
> of eminent judges chosen by the ETC Group.
> This panel includes:
> Dr. Vyvyan Howard, Founding editor of the Journal of Nanotoxicology.
> Dr. Gregor Wolbring, The Canadian Advisory Commitee on Nanotech
> Standardisation.
> Chee Yoke Ling, Legal Advisor, Third World Network.
> Claire Pentecost, Artist, Writer, Associate Professor and Chair of
> the Photography Department at the School of the Art Institute of
> Chicago
> Rory O Neill, Editor of Hazards (trade union workplace safety
> magazine).
> Dr. Alexis Vlandas, Nanotechnology spokesperson for International
> Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility.
> Public Judging: The selected entries will then be displayed at the
> World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya (20- 25 January 2007) for
> civil society attendees to judge. We also encourage everyone to
> view the gallery of submitted artwork online and submit comments
> there.
> More Information:
> For a short introduction to nanotechnology see: "A Tiny Primer on
> Nano-scale Technologies" available online: http://www.etcgroup.org/
> en/materials/publications.html?idU
> For an introduction to the toxicity of nanoscale materials see the
> following resources:
> "Size Matters" (2003), an ETC Occasional Paper which includes an
> appendix by Dr Vyvyan Howard, Founding Editor of the Journal of
> Nanotoxicology: http://www.etcgroup.org/upload/publication/165/01/
> occ.paper_nanosafety.pdf
> ETC Group's 2004 Communique, 'Nano's Troubled Waters' http://
> www.etcgroup.org/upload/publication/116/01/gt_troubledwater_april1.pdf
> A May 2006 report on nanotechnology in sunscreens and cosmetics by
> Friends of the Earth: http://www.foe.org/camps/comm/nanotech/
> A recent scientific evaluation of nanoscale hazards by the European
> Commission's highest level scientific committee on toxicity, The
> Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks:
> http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/
> scenihr_cons_01_en.htm
> A comprehensive overview (2004) of nanoparticle toxicity, "Small
> Matter, Many Unknowns" by Swiss Re, the world's second largest re-
> insurance company: http://www.swissre.com/INTERNET/pwsfilpr.nsf/
> vwFilebyIDKEYLu/ULUR-5YNGET/$FILE/Publ04_Nanotech_en.pdf
> Take Action:
> The US Food and Drug Administration is holding its first-ever
> public hearing to discuss regulatory issues related to
> nanotechnology on October 10, 2006. Despite the fact that the US
> government spends approximately $1 billion per year on nanotech R&D
> and hundreds of consumer products are already on the market, the US
> government spends a paltry $11 million per year on nanotechnology
> related risk research (1.1% of the total budget). Go here for
> details: http://www.nanotechproject.org/80/nanotechnology-
> development-suffers-from-lack-of-risk-research-plan
> In May 2006 ETC Group joined the International Center for
> Technology Assessment, Friends of the Earth and other consumer
> health and environmental groups in a legal petition challenging
> FDA's failure to regulate health and environmental threats from
> nanomaterials currently used in consumer products. The full
> petition and an executive summary are available here: http://
> www.icta.org/nanotech/index.cfm
> You can send electronic comments to the FDA asking them to properly
> control, regulate and label nanomaterials. An online form is
> available to help you do this via The Center for Food Safety. Go
> to: http://ga3.org/campaign/Nano
> _______________________________________________
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