An inaugural workshop on the safe use of nanomaterials in environmental remediation will be at Southeastern Louisiana University June 5-7.

With increased use of nanotechnology and nanomaterials in the cleanup of hazardous sites, there is now a growing body of evidence that exposure to these materials could have adverse health effects, said conference organizer Ephraim Massawe, assistant professor of occupational safety, health and environment.

“The applications and results of nano-enabled strategies and methods for environmental remediation are increasingly promising,” Massawe said. “The challenge is ensuring that such applications are both safe and sustainable.”

The event, “Nano-4-Rem-Anssers 2013: Applications of Nanotechnology for Safe and Sustainable Environmental Remediations,” is one of the first of its kind in the Southeast that has been designed to provide an opportunity for involved parties to share perspectives, pose questions and develop ideas for generating solid guidelines for best work practices that support safe and sustainable nano-enabled environmental remediation.

SLU is sponsoring the event with other agencies and institutions, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Safety and Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office.

The program will include case studies of nano-enhanced cleanup technologies, including selection criteria for alternative remediation strategies and methods, job planning and tasks, and safe material handling practices.

Other issues to be discussed are updates of toxicity studies, fate and transport of nanoparticles in soils and ground water, and nanoinformatics.

Additional details on the program and registration information can be found on the conference website at