Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
KARN, Barbara; KUIKEN, Todd and OTTO, Martha. Nanotechnology and in situ remediation: a review of the benefits and potential risks. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.1, pp. 165-178. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000100020.
In this review, we focus on environmental cleanup and provide a background and overview of current practice; research findings; societal issues; potential environment, health, and safety implications; and future directions for nanoremediation. We also discuss nanoscale zero-valent iron in detail. We searched the Web of Science for research studies and accessed recent publicly available reports from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies and organizations that addressed the applications and implications associated with nanoremediation techniques. We also conducted personal interviews with practitioners about specific site remediations. We aggregated information from 45 sites, a representative portion of the total projects under way, to show nanomaterials used, types of pollutants addressed, and organizations responsible for each site. Nanoremediation has the potential not only to reduce the overall costs of cleaning up large-scale contaminated sites but also to reduce cleanup time, eliminate the need for treatment and disposal of contaminated soil, and reduce some contaminant concentrations to near zero - all in situ.
Keywords : Environmental implications; Environmental technology; Hazardous wastes; Nanoremediation; Nanotechnology; Pollutants; Remediation; Toxicity; Waste sites; Zero-valent iron.