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In the news: October 11, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

US FDA told to watch nanotech products for risks: Products made using nanotechnology need more attention from U.S. regulators to make sure they are safe for humans and the planet, consumer and environmental groups told a government hearing yesterday. Nanotechnology is the design and use of particles as small as one-billionth of a meter. The particles have completely different properties from larger versions and dozens of cosmetics and a handful of drugs made with nanomaterials already have made it to the market while regulators have done little to track their use or safety.

W.R. Grace must clean up MT mines: The Supreme Court let stand lower court rulings that require W.R. Grace & Co. to pay a $54.5-million federal bill for asbestos cleanup in a Montana mining town described by federal regulators as one of the nation's most contaminated Superfund sites. The court rejected Grace's appeal of a decision in favor of the EPA, which sued Grace five years ago to recover the cleanup costs at a vermiculite mine in the town of Libby.

CA steps up war against smog: New Southern CA regulations on development, boats and jet-skis are sought under a plan to reduce pollutants by 50% in 10 years. Officials may impose fees on new development as part of a tough strategy that also calls for more frequent smog inspections of cars and stricter regulations of everything from motorcycles and cargo vessels to hairspray.

BRIEFLY NOTED: Recent cases of food-borne illness raise questions about what steps consumers should take to ensure their own safety…

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