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Do my socks put me at risk?

I love my Asics Kayano socks for jogging because they are very comfortable, and moisture wicking. But really it is the color scheme that reminds me of puffins that led me to my first purchase.  As I read my newspaper this morning an article motivated me to look up the product ingredients of my beloved socks.  Just as I suspected, one of the products listed is “NanoGlidea”.

I first become aware and eventually very interested in nanotechnology several years ago because I am involved in the training of the use of the National Library of Medicine’s TOXNET – a collection of databases on hazardous chemicals, toxic releases, and environmental health.

The article I am referring to in the January 26, 2012 issue of the New York Times by Cornelia Dean tells us that an expert panel of the National Academy of Sciences says that not enough is known about the potential health and environmental risks of nanomaterials. The panel has called for more research.  What might be the motivation for concern?  Dean goes on to say that in 2009 product sales from the nanotechnology market was $225 billion.  Who was the motivator for the study? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested the National Research Council (NRC), the research arm of the National Academy of Science to convene the panel.  The report was issued by the NRC on January 25, 2012 and is available right now for $42.30 in the form of a “Prepublication PDF”

The website Nanowerk offers a fine summary of the report at:

http://goo.gl/FIJpX