Environmental Concerns of Nanomaterials & Nanotechnology Essay

Nanotechnology is the name of this century’s science technology. In the past few years, this technology has gained immense interest owing to the exceptional properties of nanomaterials. The use and applications of nanomaterials are growing exponentially, according to Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, around three to four nanomaterial-based consumer products are hitting the market every week (Ray, Yu, & Fu, 2009). Nanotechnology and nanomaterials have become a part of healthcare, agriculture, business, medicine and industrial sector. Ranging from personal use (such as in cosmetics, medicines) to use in environmental remediation, nanomaterials are being employed everywhere. Use of nanomaterials on such scale makes the environmental exposure to these nano-sized materials inevitable, in turn raising concerns on the risk assessment aspects of these materials and nanotoxicity (Ray et al., 2009).

Recent years have witnessed a growing massive research on the environmental and safety risks of nanomaterials, however, the challenge lies in validating the results owing to the inefficiency of analytical methods and tools to evaluate in case of nanomaterials (Kühnel et al., 2017). Studies have been conducted to assess the impact of various nanomaterials on various organisms, however the employed analytical methods have been inadequate and require modifications. Varying diverse results have been published in the literature, making it challenging to validate the risk assessment and safety factors on these nanomaterials. An adequate, validates, reliable and understandable information on nanomaterials is need of the hour for scientists and consumers who are using nanomaterials based products on a daily basis. To provide this vital information, a web based knowledge base has been developed – DaNa2.0 (Kühnel et al., 2017).

DaNa2.0 0 (Data and Knowledge on nanomaterials – Processing of socially relevant scientific facts) is a web knowledge based platform that aims at providing a transparent and understandable knowledge base for nanomaterials usage environmental and human effects. A diverse range of nanomaterials have been included in the database and the platform provides a transparent and understandable information on risks and safety of various nanomaterials. This information can also be used for further studies and research on nanomaterials. Information is presented in a very organized way and presently the database provides comprehensive information on around 25 market related nanomaterial products.

Kühnel, D., Marquardt, C., Nau, K., Krug, H., Paul, F., & Steinbach, C. (2017). Environmental benefits and concerns on safety: communicating latest results on nanotechnology safety research—the project DaNa 2.0. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24(12), 11120-11125.

Ray, P. C., Yu, H., & Fu, P. P. (2009). Toxicity and environmental risks of nanomaterials: challenges and future needs. Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part C, 27(1), 1-35.

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