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Home > Press > Contaminated Site Remediation: Are Nanomaterials the Answer?

Abstract:
Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 12:30 - 1:30 PM (Light lunch at 12:00 noon)

Contaminated Site Remediation: Are Nanomaterials the Answer?

Washington, DC | Posted on January 21st, 2010

A new review article appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) co-authored by Dr. Todd Kuiken, Research Associate for the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN), Dr. Barbara Karn, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Marti Otto, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency focuses on the use of nanomaterials for environmental cleanup. It provides an overview of current practices; research findings; societal issues; potential environment, health, and safety implications; and possible future directions for nanoremediation. The authors conclude that the technology could be an effective and economically viable alternative for some current site cleanup practices, but potential risks remain poorly understood.

According to Dr. Kuiken, "Despite the potentially high performance and low cost of nanoremediation, more research is needed to understand and prevent any potential adverse environmental impacts, particularly studies on full-scale ecosystem-wide impacts. To date, little research has been done."

In its 2004 report Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties, the British Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering recommended that the use of free manufactured nanoparticles be prohibited for environmental applications such as remediation until further research on potential risks and benefits had been conducted. The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) called for further risk research in 2005 while acknowledging environmental remediation technology as one of nanotechnology's potential benefits.

To coincide with the release of the EHP article, PEN is making available a newly updated online map of nanoremediation sites around the globe. The map shows nearly 60 sites where nanomaterials have been used and includes detailed information on the contaminants treated and the nature of the treatment.

Who

* Dr. Todd Kuiken, Research Associate, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
* Dr. Barbara Karn, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
* Marti Otto, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
* David Rejeski, Moderator, Director, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

When

Thursday, February 4, 2010, 12:30-1:30 PM (light lunch available at 12:00 noon)

Where

5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - Directions

To RSVP vist: www.nanotechproject.org/events/rsvp/
***Webcast LIVE at www.wilsoncenter.org***
No RSVP required to view the webcast

####

About The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies was established in April 2005 as a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts.
The Project is dedicated to helping ensure that as nanotechnologies advance, possible risks are minimized, public and consumer engagement remains strong, and the potential benefits of these new technologies are realized.

Nanotechnologies are hailed by many as the next industrial revolution. They promise to change everything from the cars we drive to the clothes we wear, from the medical treatments our doctors can offer to our energy sources and workplaces. Although focused on the very small, nanotechnologies offer tremendous potential benefits. From new cancer therapies to pollution-eating compounds, from more durable consumer products to detectors for biohazards like anthrax, from novel foods to more efficient solar cells, nanotechnologies are changing the way people think about the future.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media planning to cover the event should contact:
Todd Kuiken
(202) 691-4398

Copyright © The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

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