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Nanomaterials in Waste Streams

Current Knowledge on Risks and Impacts

image of Nanomaterials in Waste Streams

Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising field for advanced applications in industrial, commercial and medical sectors, and nanomaterials can be found today in sunscreens, deodorants and textiles. Yet these nanomaterials, which are increasing in number, are entering waste streams as part of end-of-life products along with conventional waste, without any real understanding of their environmental impacts or health risks on human beings and living organisms.

This report provides a literature review on four specific waste treatment processes (recycling, incineration, landfilling and wastewater treatment). While state-of-the-art waste treatment facilities may collect, divert or eliminate nanomaterials from these waste streams, the report concludes that knowledge gaps associated with their final disposal remain, underlining the need for further research in this area.

English

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Assessment and recommendations

This overview chapter highlights the findings from subsequent chapters that focus on four specific waste treatment processes: recycling, incineration, landfilling, and wastewater treatment. The chapter clarifies the current state of knowledge on the fate and possible impacts of nanomaterials in these processes, provides possible ways forward and identifies future research areas and possible approaches to further address the emerging issue of waste containing nanomaterials.

English

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