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Ecofriendly nanotechnologies and nanomaterials for environmental applications: Key issue and consensus recommendations for sustainable and ecosafe nanoremediation

Corsi, I., Winther-Nielsen, M., Sethi, R., Punta, C., Della Torre, C., Libralato, G., Lofrano, G., Sabatini, L., Aiello, M., Fiordi, L., Cinuzzi, F., Caneschi, A., Pellegrini, D., Buttino, I.
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2018 v.154 pp. 237-244
economic investment, ecotoxicology, environmental impact, humans, nanomaterials, pollutants, risk assessment, safety assessment, sediment contamination, soil, soil remediation, Italy
The use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) for environmental remediation, known as nanoremediation, represents a challenging and innovative solution, ensuring a quick and efficient removal of pollutants from contaminated sites. Although the growing interest in nanotechnological solutions for pollution remediation, with significant economic investment worldwide, environmental and human risk assessment associated with the use of ENMs is still a matter of debate and nanoremediation is seen yet as an emerging technology. Innovative nanotechnologies applied to water and soil remediation suffer for a proper environmental impact scenario which is limiting the development of specific regulatory measures and the exploitation at European level. The present paper summarizes the findings from the workshop: “Ecofriendly Nanotechnology: state of the art, future perspectives and ecotoxicological evaluation of nanoremediation applied to contaminated sediments and soils” convened during the Biannual ECOtoxicology Meeting 2016 (BECOME) held in Livorno (Italy). Several topics have been discussed and, starting from current state of the art of nanoremediation, which represents a breakthrough in pollution control, the following recommendations have been proposed: (i) ecosafety has to be a priority feature of ENMs intended for nanoremediation; ii) predictive safety assessment of ENMs for environmental remediation is mandatory; (iii) greener, sustainable and innovative nano-structured materials should be further supported; (iii) those ENMs that meet the highest standards of environmental safety will support industrial competitiveness, innovation and sustainability. The workshop aims to favour environmental safety and industrial competitiveness by providing tools and modus operandi for the valorization of public and private investments.