A framework to predict health risks of engineered nanoparticles during environmental remediation:preliminary information needs for oversight and effective expos
By: Dr. Ephraim Massawe, Assistant Professor, Southeastern Louisiana University, SLU 10847, Hammond, LA, 70402, USA
It appears that nanomaterials or engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) will become the dominant and leading products for environmental remediation of complex hazardous wastes in the future. The advantages of nanomaterials vs. the existing traditional environmental remediation technologies include the cost effectiveness as a result of a reduced remediation time for ENPs. Nanotechnology is based on small-scale science, and the advantages of using ENPs in various applications today are mostly attributed to their novel chemical and physical properties, including size, surface area, particle shape, electrical charge, optical and other mechanical parameters.
The main question that remains in the applications of ENPs for remediation, however, is how to address exposures and human health risks throughout the life-cycle stages of nanomaterials. Lack of a framework to conduct traditional exposure assessment or lack of information on the fate and transportation mechanisms and toxicity, and the metrics to use during exposure assessment continue to present challenges in estimating exposures and human health risks of ENPs. A framework to compliment the traditional exposure assessment methods is necessary for ENPs. This paper will present a proposed step-by-step methodology to conduct exposure assessments, useful metrics to predict risks at all stages of life of ENPs and, specifically, during environmental remediation. A case study of nanomaterials' handling practices and the potential for exposure to ENPs are estimated based on information available from the use of ENPs at the pilot and full-scale environmental remediation practices and operations at the U.S. EPA-superfund sites.
Key-words: remediation, nanoparticles, exposure assessment
Dr. Ephraim, Massawe
Southeastern Louisiana University
18044 Old Covington Hwy
Hammond, LA 70403 USA
Contribution proposed for: oral presentation