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In this article, Jenner & Block Partners E. Lynn Grayson and Steven M. Siros examine mechanisms to manage the potential effects of nanoscale materials on human health and the environment. They define nanotechnology, provide insights on recent developments, describe possible concerns about nanomaterial use and discuss risk management considerations for US businesses using nanotechnology. Nanotechnology may hold the key to tremendous breakthroughs in medicine, health care and drug therapies, and it will also continue to aid in the advancement of industrial, commercial and consumer products. The authors conclude that successful applications and long-term use of nanotechnology must be evaluated, taking into account the potential adverse impacts of nanomaterials on the environment.