In September we would like to present a paper of the BMBF project Fe-Nanosit. The project dealt with the use of iron-containing nanomaterials in groundwater and wastewater remediation. A comprehensive assessment and weighing of benefits and possible environmental risks resulting from the application is now presented by the project partners in this paper.
Groundwater is indispensable for the drinking water supply in many areas of the world. Therefore, contamination of groundwater with pollutants requires purification before drinking water can be produced from it. There are different methods available for such a purification or remediation. The choice of the remediation method is made in such a way that as little damage as possible is caused to the respective ecosystem. In the present study, the in-situ remediation agent Carbo-Iron® was investigated and the benefits compared with possible harmful effects. From existing and newly collected ecotoxicity data in various organisms (water flea, algae, insects, bacteria), non-effect concentrations of 0.1 mg Carbo-Iron® per liter of water were derived. These concentrations were compared with measured and modelled environmental concentrations of Carbo-Iron®, as typically found in groundwater after remediation. For this purpose, a field study was evaluated, which was carried out in an aquifer contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons under an old laundry. The comprehensive final evaluation clearly showed that the total environmental risk was significantly reduced by the destruction of the chlorinated hydrocarbons by means of Carbo-Iron®.
This study is thus one of only a few to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment in a nanomaterials use case that involves a release into the environment (here into groundwater). In this case it could be clearly shown that the benefits of the application (the destruction of pollutants) clearly outweigh the risks (effects of Carbo-Iron® on organisms).
Mirco Weil, Katrin Mackenzie, Kaarina Foit, Dana Kühnel, Wibke Busch, Mirco Bundschuh, Ralf Schulz, Karen Duis (2019) Environmental risk or benefit? Comprehensive risk assessment of groundwater treated with nano Fe0-based Carbo-Iron®. Science of The Total Environment, 677, 156-166, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.360
Spotlight December 2020: Rethinking Nanosafety – Part II
In December we would like to draw attention to the special issue: Rethinking Nanosafety – Part II in small. In the July Spotlight we already presented Part I. This special issue “Rethinking Nanosafety – Part II” also features research papers by renowned scientists in the field of nanosafety research. The first part of this special […]Read more
Spotlight March 2021: Is Nanotechnology the Swiss Army Knife against Future Pandemics?
The COVID 19 outbreak has led to a fundamental rethinking of existing approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention methods. The need for better and more efficient concepts is global and urgent. Nanotechnology has long been at the forefront of innovation and has led to advances in many different disciplines. Could this interdisciplinary field help develop […]Read more
Spotlight Juli 2020: “Nanosafety – More than just regulatory processes”
Nanosafety is more than just a compulsory aspect of nanomaterials research and regulation. This research area also has great potential to drive new innovations. It is exactly this perspective that is addressed in the special issue “Rethinking Nanosafety: Harnessing Progress and Driving Innovation” by Chen et al. 2020. The article illustrates that especially in the field of […]Read more
Spotlight February 2021: Nanoobjects in the COVID-vaccine – scientifically correct?
The COVID-19 pandemic induces very different reactions of people on the internet (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7002e1.htm) and in the social networks. Without following the conspiracy theories as “5G nanochip hidden in COVID vaccines” some news as “COVID vaccines induce allergic reactions” should be scientifically recognised. The picture from the 5G-nanochip whose plan goes viral on the internet is […]Read more