Nanomaterials in Waste Streams
Current Knowledge on Risks and Impacts
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.
Published on February 22, 2016