Nanotechnology Standards. Murashov V, Howard J, eds., New York: Springer, 2011 Jan; :1-19
Throughout human history, standards have been crafted to enhance man's relationship to the laws of nature, to facilitate commerce, to promote technological innovation, to ensure the safety and health of workers, consumers and the environment, and to advance the standard of living for all mankind. As the means of communication have improved, the range of stakeholder experts who develop standards, as well as the national and international reach of standards, has grown from localities, to regions, to nations and to the world, and from small trade groups to the global economy. The informational foundation for standards development has changed, which permits standards development to mature from a reactive mode, where well-established knowledge is used to set a standard, to a proactive mode, where the knowledge is generated in parallel with standards development, where the standards development guides and promotes the advance of technological innovations, and where precautionary approaches are put into place when risk information has yet to be definitely generated. Lastly, a global risk governance process is emerging where the pace of national governmental mandatory standards is being eclipsed by international, private sector, voluntary standards development.