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Nanotech Pesticides? Safety Issues Arise

Nanotechnology is about to emerge in the world of pesticides and pest control, and a range of new approaches are needed to understand the implications for public health, ensure that this is done safely, maximize the potential benefits and prevent possible risks, Oregon State University and European researchers say in a new report.

In a study published Monday in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, scientists from OSU and the European Union outline six regulatory and educational issues that should be considered whenever nanoparticles are going to be used in pesticides.

"If we do it right, it should be possible to design nanoparticles with safety as a primary consideration, so they can help create pesticides that work better or are actually safer," said Stacey Harper, an assistant professor of nanotoxicology at Oregon State University.

Harper is a national leader in the safety and environmental impacts of this science that deals with particles so extraordinarily small they can have novel and useful characteristics.

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