Tag Archives: Inc

2014 Internatonal NanoSafety Congress in Iran extends deadline for submissions to Dec. 15, 2013

A Nov. 11, 2013 news item on Nanowerk highlights the 2014 Iran International NanoSafety Congress and the deadline extension,

The deadline for paper submission to Iran International Nanosafety Congress was extended to 15 December 2013.
Iran Nanosafety Congress will be held in Tehran University of Medical Sciences in association with Iran Nanosafety Network (INSN) of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council on 19-20 February [2014] to guarantee the safe and continuous development of nanotechnology, give correct information about nanosafety, identify active bodies in the field of nanosaftey and develop cooperation with other countries.
The scope of the congress is as follows:
– Exposure assessment
– Methodology: characterization, detection, and monitoring
– Occupational and environmental interactions
– Toxicology
– Ecotoxicology and life cycle analysis
– Standardization and regulations

The homepage for the Iran International NanoSafety Congress provides more information,

Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of the scientific and executive committees, it is our great pleasure to cordially invite you to attend the Iran NanoSafety Congress 2014 (INSC 2014) which will be held at the Ghods Auditorium in Tehran University of Medical Sciences, on 19-20 February 2014.

This Congress is jointly organized by the Iran Nanosafety Network (INSN) of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC) and Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), supported by Iran Nanohealth Committee of Food & Drug Organization (INC), Iranian Environmental Mutagen Society (IrEMS) and Iranian Society of Nanomedicine (ISNM).  The “Iran NanoSafety Congress 2014″ aims to cover all safety aspects of nanomaterials in human and environment. This Congress is focused on novel approaches and technologies being used to properly assess the safety, toxicity, and risk of nanomaterial for occupational and environmental health. The scientific program will consist of keynote/distinguished lectures, symposia, workshops, discussion panels and poster sessions. This congress will provide attendees good opportunities to meet scientists from all over the world to exchange the ideas and to launch national and international collaborations in different aspects of  Nanosafety. The organizing committee is also planning a variety of unique social programs to provide the chance for participants to enjoy from fascinating Iranian culture and warm spirit of friendship.

We look forward to welcoming you and your active participation in the INSC 2014 in Tehran, I.R. Iran.

Good luck with getting your submission in on time.

Health Canada publishes results of public consultation on Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterials!

Hot off the email.  I received notice, about 60 mins. ago, that the results of the March – August 2010 public consultation on Health Canada’s Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterials. From my Oct. 11, 2011 email,

In March 2010, Health Canada launched a web-based consultation on the Interim Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterials.  The consultation was open for comment from March 1 to August 31, 2010.  During that period, Health Canada received a total of 29 submissions from companies, industry groups, governments, academia, public interest groups and interested citizens.

Health Canada made changes to the Interim Policy Statement based on stakeholders’ feedback.  Changes were also informed by developments in international norms, evolving scientific evidence and regulatory program needs.  These changes appear in the Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterial which will continue to be updated as the body of scientific evidence and international norms progress.

Health Canada’s responses to key stakeholder comments are summarised in the following documents:

· Summary of Comments Received on the Interim Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterials – March to August 2010

· Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterial.

The Policy Statement, the Summary Report, and the Frequently Asked Questions are all now available on Health Canada’s website on the Science and Research webpage at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/sr-sr/pubs/nano/index-eng.php

Thank you to Laird Roe, A/Director General, Science Policy Directorate Strategic Policy Branch, and all of the other folks who’ve worked to get this published.

I have taken a very quick look at the updated website which no longer includes the word ‘interim’ with its title: Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterial. It was made effective Oct. 6, 2011.

The changes made in response to submissions received as part of the public consultation are noted on the Summary of Comments Received on the Interim Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterials – March to August 2010 page. Included is a list of the 29 respondents,

Companies:

  • DuPont Canada
  • Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Johnson & Johnson Inc
  • Johnson & Johnson Medical Products
  • Logistik Unicorp
  • PerkinElmer Instruments

Industry Organizations

  • Canadian Apparel Federation
  • Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors
  • Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association
  • Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association
  • Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
  • Canada’s Medical Technology Companies
  • Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Food & Consumer Products of Canada
  • Industry Coordinating Group for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act
  • The Nanotechnology Panel of the American Chemistry Council
  • The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.

Governments:

  • Ministry of Health, Government of British Columbia
  • Peel Public Health

Academia:

  • Centre des Nanomatériaux de l’Université du Québec à Montréal

Public Interest Groups:

  • Canadian Cancer Society
  • Canadian Environmental Law Association
  • Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy

Media Blog:

  • FrogHeart.ca

Not sure I’d ever describe this as a media blog (obsession, maybe?) but to paraphrase the Scotsman Robbie Burns, it’s always interesting to see ourselves as others see us.

I’m sorry they didn’t post the individual submissions as they did for the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development as it would have interesting to see and compare the other submissions.

They did break down the comments in the various submissions,

Key comments provided fell into three categories:

  1. the Process of the creation of the working definition (how it was developed);
  2. the Content of the working definition (clarity/inclusion of key terms); and,
  3. the Application or use of the policy statement (clarifying the regulatory context).

This description of the categories is followed by a table which summarizes both the  comments and Health Canada’s responses (not reproduced here).

One of my key concerns, public engagement/discussion was not addressed either in the summary or on the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page. I suggest looking at the FAQs page as there is some very interesting information there including the answer to this question,

8. Does Health Canada take a precautionary approach to nanomaterials?

Taking a precautionary approach is key to fostering the development and inclusion of new knowledge into decision making. The precautionary approach is part of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Pest Control Products Act, and is referenced in the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act which will further support existing authorities to collect information regarding nanomaterial for the assessment of potential health risks and benefits.

Over the next few years, Health Canada will take an incremental approach to address regulatory, science and policy needs while allowing for the integration of new scientific evidence as it becomes available. Health Canada’s principle interest is in obtaining information that will improve the understanding of nanomaterials for risk assessment and risk management purposes.

I was much encouraged to see a flexible approach has been adopted as you can see in this example from the elaboration on the policy statement,

“Part a” of the Working Definition relates to current evidence suggesting that nanoscale properties/phenomena are more likely observable at the scale of 1-100 nanometres (more often at the lower end)5 and “Part b” reflects that it is possible for nanoscale properties/ phenomena to be exhibited outside this size range, such as select quantum devices6.

A variety of lexicons and interpretations of “nano-terminology” currently exist, underlining the importance of understanding the context in which these terms are used. In the risk assessment context supporting hazard and exposure assessment for risk characterization and management, the term “nanoscale properties/phenomena” refers to size-related properties which have qualities or characteristics that do not readily extrapolate from those observed in individual atoms, molecules or bulk materials. For example, “bulk” gold is not very reactive, but nanoscale gold can act as a chemical catalyst2. For risk assessment purposes, this term includes observable biological or environmental effects resulting from size-related properties as described above. Examples of such biological or environmental effects could be increased permeability through cell membranes8 or increased reactivity of iron/iron oxides for the purposes of groundwater remediation9, respectively.

So there you have it a few nits to pick and a few roses to give. I trust and hope that there will be more commentary from other sources over the coming days.

In March 2010, Health Canada launched a web-based consultation on the Interim Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterials.  The consultation was open for comment from March 1 to August 31, 2010.  During that period, Health Canada received a total of 29 submissions from companies, industry groups, governments, academia, public interest groups and interested citizens.

Health Canada made changes to the Interim Policy Statement based on stakeholders’ feedback.  Changes were also informed by developments in international norms, evolving scientific evidence and regulatory program needs.  These changes appear in the Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterial which will continue to be updated as the body of scientific evidence and international norms progress.

Health Canada’s responses to key stakeholder comments are summarised in the following documents:

· Summary of Comments Received on the Interim Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterials – March to August 2010

Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterial.

The Policy Statement, the Summary Report, and the Frequently Asked Questions are all now available on Health Canada’s website on the Science and Research webpage at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/sr-sr/pubs/nano/index-eng.php

E-readers: musings on publishing and the word (part 2 of 3)

While the debates rage on about tablets versus e-readers and about e-ink vs LCD readers and about Kindle vs Nook and other e-reader contenders, there are other more fundamental debates taking place as per articles like E-reading: Revolution in the making or fading fad? by Annie Huang on physorg.com,

Four years ago Cambridge, Mass.-based E Ink Corporation and Taiwan’s Prime View International Co. hooked up to create an e-paper display that now supplies 90 percent of the fast growing e-reader market.

The Taiwanese involvement has led some observers to compare e-reading to the Chinese technological revolution 2,000 years ago in which newly invented paper replaced the bulky wooden blocks and bamboo slats on which Chinese characters were written.

But questions still hang over the Taiwanese-American venture, including the readiness of the marketplace to dispense with paper-based reading, in favor of relatively unfamiliar e-readers.

“It’s cockamamie to think a product like that is going to revolutionize the way most people read,” analyst Michael Norris of Rockville, Maryland research firm Simba Information Co. said in an e-mail. Americans use e-books at a rate “much, much slower than it looks.”

I don’t know that this constitutes proof that Micheal Norris is right (ETA Sept. 21, 2010, this Techdirt article Don’t Be Confused By Amazon’s Ebook Sales Claims by Mike Masnick cites research that supports Norris’ claim) but the essay E-reader revolt: I’m leaving youth culture behind by Emma Silvers certainly suggests that not all of the younger (Millenial) generation is necessarily as enamoured of e-readers and associated techno gadgets as is commonly touted,

At 26, I’m part of a generation raised on gadgets, but actual books are something I just refuse to give up

One recent story in the New York Times went so far as to claim that iPads and Kindles and Nooks are making the very act of reading better by — of course — making it social. As one user explained, “We are in a high-tech era and the sleekness and portability of the iPad erases any negative notions or stigmas associated with reading alone.” Hear that? There’s a stigma about reading alone. (How does everyone else read before bed — in pre-organized groups?) Regardless, it turns out that, for the last two decades, I’ve been Doing It Wrong. And funny enough, up until e-books came along, reading was one of the few things I felt confident I was doing exactly right.

o is my overly personal, defensive reaction to the e-reader boom nothing more than preemptive fear of the future, of change in general? I’d like to think I’m slightly more mature than that, but at its core my visceral hatred of the computer screen-as-book is at least partially composed of sadness at the thought of kids growing up differently from how I did, of the rituals associated with learning to read — and learning to love to read — ceasing to resemble yours and mine. Nine-year-olds currently exist who will recall, years from now, the first time they read “Charlotte’s Web” on their iPads, and I’m going to have to let that go. For me, there’s just still something universal about ink on paper, the dog-earing of yellowed pages, the loans to friends, the discovery of a relative’s secret universe of interests via the pile on their nightstand. And it’s not really hyperbole to say it makes me feel disconnected from humanity to imagine these rituals funneled into copy/paste functions, annotated files on a screen that could, potentially, crash.

I doubt I’m the only one, even in my supposedly tech-obsessed generation, who thinks this way.

Well, maybe Silvers is a minority but there is at least one market sector, education texts, that e-readers don’t seem to satisfy as Pasco Phronesis (David Bruggeman) in an August 12, 2010 posting notes evidence that e-readers are less efficient than regular books,

Edward Tenner (who you should be following on general principle) at The Atlantic gathers some findings that suggest e-readers are less effective than regular books from an efficiency perspective – something that matters to readers concerned with educational texts. Both in terms of reading speed and the distraction of hypertext links, e-Readers are not the best means to focus on whatever text you’re trying to read.

Those problems may be remedied with a new $46M investment in Kno, Inc. (from the Sept. 8, 2010 news item on physorg.com),

Founded in May 2009 and short for “knowledge,” Kno is developing a two-panel, touchscreen tablet computer that will allow users to read digital textbooks, take notes, access the Web and run educational applications.

“Kno is gearing up to launch the first digital device that we believe will fundamentally improve the way students learn,” said Osman Rashid, Kno’s chief executive and co-founder.

Rashid said the funding will “help us continue to deliver on our product roadmap and ultimately deliver on our vision to bring innovative digital technology to the world of education.”

Still, there’s another downside to e-readers as per this item, Reminder: You Don’t Own Your Ebooks; Amazon Locks Customer Out And Doesn’t Respond To Help Requests by Mike Masnik on Techdirt,

We’ve pointed out in the past that if you’re “buying” ebooks on devices like the Kindle or the iPad, it’s important to remember that you’re not really “buying” the books, and you don’t really own them. We’re seeing that once again with a story on Consumerist about a woman who was locked out of the ebooks on her Kindle for a month:

In fact, they can do a lot more than just lock you out of your account they can delete books that you’ve purchased as Amazon did with books such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and The Virtue of Selfishness, and some of the Harry Potter books. Apparently, these titles were illegally uploaded which is why Amazon removed them. Farhad Manjoo’s Slate essay Why 2024 Will Be Like Nineteen Eighty-Four; How Amazon’s remote deletion of e-books from the Kindle paves the way for book-banning’s digital future on these incidents explores the implications,

The worst thing about this story isn’t Amazon’s conduct; it’s the company’s technical capabilities. Now we know that Amazon can delete anything it wants from your electronic reader. That’s an awesome power, and Amazon’s justification in this instance is beside the point. As our media libraries get converted to 1’s and 0’s, we are at risk of losing what we take for granted today: full ownership of our book and music and movie collections.

Most of the e-books, videos, video games, and mobile apps that we buy these days day aren’t really ours. They come to us with digital strings that stretch back to a single decider—Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, or whomever else. … Now we know what the future of book banning looks like, too.

Consider the legal difference between purchasing a physical book and buying one for your Kindle. When you walk into your local Barnes & Noble to pick up a paperback of Animal Farm, the store doesn’t force you to sign a contract limiting your rights. If the Barnes & Noble later realizes that it accidentally sold you a bootlegged copy, it can’t compel you to give up the book—after all, it’s your property. The rules are completely different online. When you buy a Kindle a  book [sic], you’re implicitly agreeing to Amazon’s Kindle terms of service. The contract gives the company “the right to modify, suspend, or discontinue the Service at any time, and Amazon will not be liable to you should it exercise such right.” In Amazon’s view, the books you buy aren’t your property—they’re part of a “service,” and Amazon maintains complete control of that service at all times. Amazon has similar terms covering downloadable movies and TV shows, as does Apple for stuff you buy from iTunes.

I certainly like owning my books and the idea that some unseen individual might decide to remove access with the click of a few keystrokes certainly gives me pause. As for whether or not people are using e-readers and their ilk, I have more about that along with my thoughts on these debates and what’s happening with ‘the word’ in part 3.