Understanding and meeting information and technology needs
to prevent exposures to engineered nanoparticles
Southeastern Louisiana University
Groundwater or soil contamination is present at most Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action sites. Traditional technologies, such as pump-and-treat (P&T) and permeable reactive barriers (PRBs), have been used for decades to remediate such sites. In recent years, remediation strategies involving engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) such as zero-valent iron and titanium dioxide have been demonstrated as viable time-saving and cost-effective alternatives to traditional remediation. In addition, advances in nanotechnology-enabled assessment and monitoring methods such as nano-sensors may support more extensive, reliable, and cost effective assessment and management of remediation activities.
At the same time that applications of nano-enabled strategies and methods for environmental remediation are increasingly promising, there is a growing body of evidence linking exposure to certain nanomaterials with adverse health effects in animals at the laboratory scale. The challenge is to ensure that such applications are both safe and sustainable. Thus, scientific and technical information about toxicological properties of nanomaterials, work practices associated with the handling and use of nanomaterials, the communities in and around the contaminated sites, and other aspects of safe and proper use is needed to help environmental cleanup practitioners anticipate, recognize, evaluate, control, and confirm the safe management of potential risks associated with occupational and environmental exposures to nanomaterials.
This was the first national workshop that provides an opportunity for representatives from the environmental remediation community, industry, academia, and government to:
Share their perspectives, pose questions, and develop ideas for design of good guidelines, selection criteria, and work practices to support safe and sustainable nano-enabled environmental remediation;
Become acquainted with other U.S. nanotechnology stakeholders, including vendors, transporters, and contractors of the remediation sites and communities; and
Share case studies of nano-enhanced clean up technologies, including selection criteria for alternative remediation strategies and methods, job planning, job tasks, and nanomaterial handling practices.
The workshop also advanced goals of the Nanoinformatics 2020 Roadmap and the National Nanotechnology Initiative, by addressing:
Occupational and environmental regulatory issues as they relate to remediation, synthesis and characterization, and application of nanoinformatics for safe and sustainable use of nanomaterials during remediation;
Fate and transport of nanomaterials during and after remediation;
Risks, including contributions from both toxicological properties of nanomaterials (hazard) and potentials for occupational and environmental exposure, where hazard x exposure = risk;
Results of the recent nanoinformatics survey of state agencies and programs described on the workshop website; and
Opportunities for developing and sustaining continuing advances and collaborations.
Individuals unable to directly participate in the inaugural workshop are invited to engage in follow-on activities of the overall Nano-4-Rem Initiative. Additional information on the Nano-4-Rem Initiative can be found at: www.selu.edu/acad_research/programs/nano_4_rem_anssers/.
Participants were invited from the industry; site contractors, nanomaterial vendors; laboratories that synthesize and characterize ENPs for environmental remediation; regulatory authorities (local, state, and federal government) and academia (faculty and students). Presenters submitted titles and abstracts for podium or poster presentations by the new, extended deadline of January 31, 2013. The workshop or program schedule was finalized by February 20, 2013. Event date: June 5-7, 2013. Students were encouraged to submit proposals for podium or poster presentations. Information about this workshop can also be found at http://cluin.org.
The main workshop was held from approximately 8:30 am - 4:30 pm on Wednesday June 5, 2013 and Thursday June 6, 2013. Sign-in and light continental breakfast was provided each day starting at 7:30 am. Posters and exhibits were viewable throughout the workshop. A reception provided participants with an additional opportunity for networking.
The workshop was held on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University which is located in Hammond, LA. Hammond is approximately 50 minutes away from New Orleans and 50 minutes away from Baton Rouge. Participants flew into either New Orleans (MSY) or Baton Rouge (BTR). Event participants selected from a number of local hotels in and around the city.
Individual $250. Exhibitor registration was based on sponsorship level. Student $50.
Ephraim Massawe (Southeastern); Michael Gill (U.S. EPA - Region 9); Gregory Gervais (U.S. EPA-OSWER); Mark D. Hoover (NIOSH); Martha Otto (U.S. EPA, ORD); Janet Carter (U.S. OSHA); Sebastian van Delden (Southeastern); Daniel McCarthy (Southeastern); Dr. Su Chumming (EPA, ORD).
The workshop provided a valuable opportunity for companies to showcase their instruments, equipment, and new technologies, and to underwrite workshop activities. Exhibits/booths were provided for exhibitor registrants.
Organized by: Southeastern Louisiana University in cooperation with government, industry, academic, and occupational partners, with partial financial support from the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education.
Dr. Ephraim Massawe