Are there any risks in using iron nanoparticles for groundwater remediation and if so what would some of these risks be

There is much debate going on about the use ofnanoparticles. The risks have two parts; one is toxicity and the other part is the exposure part. Nanoparticles can be toxic, especially if you inhale them, but will there be any harm to humans and animals? That depends on whether there is exposure to these iron nanoparticles.

Different situations pose different risks. If you are in the business of manufacturing these particles then you have occupational health issues that you need to worry about. However, once you inject these particles into the ground for remediation there is very little chance that anyone will be exposed to those iron particles. It is quite clear that these particles are not very mobile in groundwater because they tend to stick onto anything available for them to attach to. A general rule is once you inject these particles into the ground they may move only a few feet from where you have injected them. So there is little likelihood that the nanoparticles will show up in the neighbor's drinking water well that is 300 feet away.

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