Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nano-pesticides: Solution or threat for a cleaner and greener agriculture?

Melanie Kah
Melanie Kah

Abstract:
Research is urgently needed to evaluate the risks and benefits of nano-pesticides to human and environmental health. Melanie Kah and Thilo Hofmann from the Department of Environmental Geosciences of the University of Vienna recently performed an extensive analysis of this emerging field of research. The results were published June 6th in the internationally recognized journal Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology. The study presents the current scientific state of art on nano-pesticides and identifies direction priorities for future research.

Nano-pesticides: Solution or threat for a cleaner and greener agriculture?

Vienna, Austria | Posted on June 20th, 2012

Nanotechnology has developed tremendously in the past decade and was able to create many new materials with a vast range of potential applications. Some of those innovative materials are promising to reduce environmental pollution. For instance, carbon nanotubes and metal nano-particles are great candidate materials for cleaning polluted water and soils.

However, the risk that nano-particles may pose to human and environment health is not yet fully understood. The precautionary principle therefore suggests keeping environmental release of nano-particles minimal until their fate and toxicity is better understood. "A good understanding of nano-materials is essential to evaluate whether the benefits overcome potential new risks", explains Thilo Hofmann, dean elected at the Faculty of Geosciences, Geography and Astronomy of the University of Vienna.

Among numerous proposed applications, nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize agricultural practices and food systems. Research has been extremely active over the past few years to develop new pesticides products based on nanotechnology. "Nano-pesticide research is emerging at high speed at the agrochemical labs, however, this topic has not reached public awareness or state authorities so far, nor are any products available at the marked. Since those nano-pesticides have new or enhanced properties, this will change in near future and will inevitably result in both new risks and new benefits to human and environmental health", states Thilo Hofmann.

Nano-pesticides encompass a great variety of products, some of which are already on the market. The application of nano-pesticides would be the only intentional diffuse input of large quantities of engineered nano-particles into the environment. Innovation always results in both drawbacks and benefits for human and environmental health. Nano-pesticides may reduce environmental contamination through the reduction in pesticide application rates and reduced losses. However, nano-pesticides may also create new kinds of contamination of soils and waterways due to enhanced transport, longer persistence and higher toxicity.

The current level of knowledge does not allow a fair assessment of the advantages and disadvantages that will result from the use of nano-pesticides. As a prerequisite for such assessment, a better understanding of the fate and effect of nano-pesticides after their application is required. The suitability of current regulations should also be analyzed so that refinements can be implemented if needed. Research on nano-pesticides is therefore a priority for preserving the quality of both the food chain and the environment.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thilo Hofmann
Department für Umweltgeowissenschaften
Universität Wien
1090 Wien, Althanstraße 14
T +43-1-4277-533 20


Mag. Alexandra Frey
Pressebüro der Universität Wien
Forschung und Lehre
Universität Wien
1010 Wien, Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1
T +43-1-4277-175 33
M +43-664-60277-175 33

Copyright © University of Vienna

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Publication in "Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology"

Related News Press

News and information

Color effects from transparent 3D printed nanostructures: New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D print templates for user-given colors Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference August 18th, 2018

Novel nanoparticle-based approach detects and treats oral plaque without drugs August 17th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte: Milestone of energy efficiency in information technology -- Publication in Advanced Materials August 17th, 2018

Announcements

Color effects from transparent 3D printed nanostructures: New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D print templates for user-given colors Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference August 18th, 2018

Novel nanoparticle-based approach detects and treats oral plaque without drugs August 17th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte: Milestone of energy efficiency in information technology -- Publication in Advanced Materials August 17th, 2018

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Changing the grocery game: Manufacturing process provides low-cost, sustainable option for food packaging June 26th, 2018

Nanomaterials could mean more algae outbreaks for wetlands, waterways: High tech metal particles may inadvertently take a toll on aquatic life June 26th, 2018

A nanotech sensor that turns molecular fingerprints into bar codes June 7th, 2018

Environment

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water: Rice University engineers find nanoscale solution to 'produced water' problem August 15th, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

Nanomaterials could mean more algae outbreaks for wetlands, waterways: High tech metal particles may inadvertently take a toll on aquatic life June 26th, 2018

Squeezing light at the nanoscale: Ultra-confined light could detect harmful molecules June 17th, 2018

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Nanoscience and the future of healthcare kick off first day of ACS national meeting in Boston: Presidential events highlight safety, diversity and groundbreaking research August 2nd, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

Nanomaterials could mean more algae outbreaks for wetlands, waterways: High tech metal particles may inadvertently take a toll on aquatic life June 26th, 2018

NIOSH Releases New Nanotechnology Workplace Design Recommendations March 13th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project