The challenge

The development of nano- and material sciences has led to many different commercial nanotechnological applications, including a range of consumer products such as various surface coatings, electronic components, hygenic products, textiles, cosmetics, sports equipment, food additives, pharmaceutical and dental care products. The number of products based on nanotechnology is rapidly increasing all over the world along with the development of new fields of application.

The development of nanotechnology leads to questions related to safety for humans and for the environment. Emissions of nanomateirals to the environment are difficult to overview and to study. Depending on where nanomaterials are emitted, nanoparticles may aggregate, dissolve or spread, aquire surface coatings which change thier properties or functions, or become embedded into other structures. The uncertainty is large with respect to causal mechanisms, exposure and its effects.

Properly used, nanotechnology will provide tools to solve environmental problems in our more and more industrialised and overpopulated world. Important examples include new manufactuing processes associated with less adverse environmnetal impact, new technology for remediation of polluted areas, or different sensors to monitor diseases or air pollution.

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Mistra Environmental Nanosafety

www.mistraenvironmentalnanosafety.org

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