Risk analysis x precautionary principle: case analysis in nanotechnologies Análise de risco x princípio da precaução: análise de caso nas nanotecnologias

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Revista de Direito Economico e Socioambiental
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Contipelli E.
Menezes D.F.N.
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© 2022 Direito Econômico e Socioambiental. All rights reserved.The article analyzes the regulation of nanotechnologies in the context of chemical products and processes. The objective was to identify the historical-economic forces that drove the two main approaches to chemical regulation. The methodological procedure consisted of a historical and content analysis of what legally culminated as the two main regulatory instruments: the regulatory risk analysis and the precautionary principle. Historical-economic forces are, on the one hand, market forces, which are expressed in the policy of regulatory risk analysis in relation to risks, health and sustainability, and which tend to stimulate commercial development and seek to individualize technical and the potential effects of processes, technologies and products. On the other hand, there are the forces of life, those that privilege the protection of the health of people and ecosystems, and that are expressed in the policy of the precautionary principle. Although at first glance they do not seem contradictory approaches, as they have different intrinsic scopes, both temporal and spatial as well as social, in practice these approaches and the concepts and methodologies they promote represent social forces that may eventually face each other. Both trends are exemplified in the case of nanotechnologies. The analysis shows, as a result, that the legal expression of these forces represents interests of different origins: in one case, those that privilege the market; on the other, those who favor the defense of life and health.
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