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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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Recycling of waste containing nanomaterials

This chapter reviews the current state of knowledge on the fate of nanomaterials in recycling operations and identifies the areas where further work on the environmentally sound management of waste containing nanomaterials would be needed. It explores the risks related to nanomaterials in waste, the effectiveness of best available techniques (BAT) and the consequences of non-standard treatment of waste. The chapter also identifies key knowledge gaps and possible areas for further research.

English

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