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Nanotechnology and Sustainability

The expected future social and economic benefits linked to the area of nanotechnology will also have to include sustainability effects. This article outlines and presents an approach to prospective technology assessment and shaping and critically discusses results of the implementation of this approach to nanotechnology applications. Nanotechnology applications possess a large future potential for eco-efficiency. Nonetheless, potential risks resulting from adverse effects should certainly not be neglected. It is ostensibly the early stages of nanotechnology development that bear enormous leverage on the shaping of nanotechnology applications in line with future sustainability.