Nanomaterials for Environmental Remediation: Investigating the Role of Nanoinformatics in Support of Environmental, Health, and Safety Oversight of Nanotechnologies at the Local Level

By Massawe, Ephraim | Journal of Environmental Health, July 2013 | Go to article overview

Nanomaterials for Environmental Remediation: Investigating the Role of Nanoinformatics in Support of Environmental, Health, and Safety Oversight of Nanotechnologies at the Local Level


Massawe, Ephraim, Journal of Environmental Health


State agencies responsible for the environment, safety, and public health were surveyed to understand their current and future information needs and capabilities to regulate nanomaterials. Because significant data gaps still exist on the toxicity and ecological impacts of nanomaterials, precautionary measures should be taken. Research to develop techniques for exposure assessments, surveillance and monitoring, databases, and characteristics of workplaces where ENPs are used is encouraged.

Introduction

Nanotechnology has emerged as the science of manipulating small matter at or near atomic and molecular scale in order to synthesize nano-objects, devices, and nanomaterials such as thin surface coatings, nanowires, and nanotubes, which are in the scale of between 1 to 100 nm (1 nm = 10-9 m) in at least one, two, or three dimensions, respectively (The Royal Society & the Royal Academy of Engineering, 2004). At this scale, nanomaterials can exhibit unique and novel properties that are distinctly different from bulk materials of similar composition. These properties haveS made nanomaterials viable and ideal candidates for numerous applications (Alivisatos, 1996; Meyyappan, 2007; Shatkin, 2008).

After only a few decades of research in nanotechnology and nanoscale science, nanomaterials are now widely used in electronics, biomedical, and pharmaceutical or drug delivery (Bhushan, 2010; DeJong & Borm, 2008; Lane & Kalil, 2011; Murday, Siegel, Stein, & Wright, 2009; Roco, 2004; The Royal Society & the Royal Academy of Engineering, 2004; Wang, Wang, Chen, & Shin, 2008). Other applications of nanomaterials include disease diagnosis, cosmetics, alternative energy, and catalysis (Bharali & Mousa, 2010; LaRocque, Bharali, & Mousa, 2009; National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH], 2005; National Nanotechnology Initiative, 2011). Most recently nanomaterials have successfully been used for cleanup and pollution control (Lekas, 2006; Lien & Zhang, 2001; Meyyappan, 2007; Savage & Diallo, 2005; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [U.S. EPA], 1997).

While the future and potential for applications of nanotechnology in environmental remediation in particular and other sectors in general appear bright, the other side of nanotechnology presents daunting challenges. Like other emerging technologies of the past, nanotechnology has ignited growing public debates on whether environmental and health aspects of its products and services outweigh social and economic benefits (Colvin, 2003; Roco, 2004). Scientific evidence indicates that exposure to nanomaterials can cause significant negative biological responses, including toxic health effects to humans and laboratory animals (Castranova, 2011; Nurkiewicz, Porter, & Hubbs, 2008; Pacurari, Castranova, & Vallyathan, 2010; Peter, Holian, & Sriram, 2008; Saga, Kommineni, & Castranova, 2007; Shvedova et al., 2008). For example, particles in the range of 1-100 nm, particularly those below 12 nm, can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause significant health impacts (Oberdorster et al., 2004; Sarin et al., 2008). A large quantity of scientific work also confirms a strong association between exposure to nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and asbestos-like illnesses (Poland et al., 2008).

Results of many toxicology studies have either been limited or inconclusive, however, due to variability in the manifestation of the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials during production, use, or disposal; cells and the organs used for testing; biochemical assays or doses used in the studies; and lack of information on work practices to estimate exposures (Alkilany & Murphy, 2010; Colvin, 2003; Maynard et al., 2006; Nel, Madler, & Velegol, 2009). Given this lack of organized and limited information, it is logical to share what is currently known about nanomaterials in order to support the regulatory oversight of nanotechnologies and prevent potential exposures to nanomaterials and work-related and public health risks. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Nanomaterials for Environmental Remediation: Investigating the Role of Nanoinformatics in Support of Environmental, Health, and Safety Oversight of Nanotechnologies at the Local Level
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.