Nanotechnology encompasses a diverse range of materials with a variety of applications, including those relevant to Superfund sites. As with any new technology, concerns have been raised about the potential for human toxicity and environmental impact of nanoparticles. In this two-part seminar, investigators from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research program (SRP) will explore the implications of nanoparticles on human health, as well as applications of nanotechnology-based environmental sensing. Remediation of Superfund sites can release nanoscale particles into the environment, which can pose exposure risks. The health effects of these complex mixtures and materials, especially emerging materials produced by the nanotechnology industry, are not sufficiently well understood. Dr. Ian Kennedy, of the University of California-Davis SRP, will discuss the potential for adverse environmental effects and human health effects that can arise from exposure to both intentionally manufactured and unintentionally produced nanomaterials. The primary focus will be on metals and metal oxide nanomaterials. There remains a compelling need for improved ways to detect and quantify toxic and/or hazardous chemical species found at existing or potential Superfund sites. Better analytical techniques could reduce the cost of monitoring, help improve remediation methods, and more accurately assess the health risks associated with hazardous and toxic species. Nanoscale materials provide an opportunity to develop new methods that could be faster, easier, smaller, and/or less expensive. Dr. Donald Lucas, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a member of the University of California-Berkeley SRP, will discuss how changing the size of materials to the nanoscale changes their properties. These changes can be exploited to produce sensors and detectors that the potential to reduce the cost and improve detection limits. Examples include the use of controlled shape silver and gold nanoparticles to detect arsenic and mercury in air and water.
For general information contact Justin Crane
by telephone at 919 794-4702
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Archives of past CLU-IN internet seminars are available in the CLU-IN Studio at http://clu-in.org/studio/. You will be able to view the slide and hear an audio stream of the presentation as it occurred.
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