Science Park
Boston, Massachusetts 02114

Stain resistant pants. Odor-proof socks. Anti-bacterial toothpaste.Sounds great, but what are the risks?

By engineering tiny structures and devices on the scale of atoms and molecules, nanotechnology researchers are exploring new ways to slow down global warming, provide clean water to millions, build next generation computers, carry cancer therapies directly into sick cells, repair nerve damage, and sense the presence of even just a few molecules of disease agents or deadly toxins.

Sunscreens, cosmetics, textiles, washing machines, car wax, adhesive bandages, and other nano-particle containing consumer items are already on the shelves of stores in our communities. However, unlike medications and nano-materials used in carefully controlled laboratory research studies, these consumer products are largely unregulated by the government, and are available in unlimited quantities.

The City of Cambridge is one of the first municipalities in America to consider this question. Are nanoparticles different from other unregulated ingredients in over-the-counter consumer items? Should there be warning signs or labels What messages should we be sending the state and the federal governments?

Join us for a forum presented in collaboration by the Museum of Science and the Cambridge Public Health Department.

We invite you to help the city deliberate on these issues. Get a gentle introduction to nanotechnology from a Museum educator. Hear briefly from experts on nano’s great potential as well as its potential risks. Consider some specific examples that you and your family may encounter as consumers. Share with others and with city officials what you, as a citizen and consumer would want to know, and what directions you think municipal governments should take.

No previous knowledge of nanotechnology is expected or required. Be part of the discussion, listen to what others think, and share your opinions by signing up at

Space is limited, so preregistration is required – please register at

The forum will take place from 7:00 – 9:00 PM at The Cambridge Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, and at The Museum of Science; light refreshments will be served from 6:30 – 7:00 PM. For more information please call 617-589-4250 or email [email protected].

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Added by Museum of Science Forum on December 10, 2008