By Sheila Kaplan, Investigative Reporting Workshop nano1

Nanotechnology is a booming industry. The manipulation of tiny, nanoscale particles has created breakthroughs in medicine, agriculture, electronics and virtually every other sector of commerce. By 2015, the world market for products that contain nanomaterials is expected to reach $2.6 trillion, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s watchdog.

It’s growth that any industry would envy. But reports from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), GAO, academic researchers and manufacturers reveal the downside of such rapid development: Nobody really knows if these wonder products are safe.

By Ronnie Greene, Center for Public Integrity pesticides

Saying they are plagued by pesticides but protected by only a thin layer of government regulation, farmworkers and their advocates are pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to update rules that are two decades old, and, critics say, dangerously dated.

Farmworker advocates from Florida to California were in Washington Monday and Tuesday to press the EPA and members of Congress to tighten rules meant to protect agricultural laborers from pesticides in the fields.


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