Engineered nanomaterials are being exploited for applications in numerous fields including medicine, consumer electronics, and many others. While these materials are engineered with function and cost in mind, there is no consideration of long-term environmental impacts associated with them early in the design process.
The lack of understanding of adverse effects often results in material choices that result in unintended consequences, which may cause bigger problems than they intended to solve in the first place.
For this reason, Dr. Chopra and his collaborators have developed a nanomaterial-screening tool based on the Ashby material selection strategy for environmentally benign material selection. By adding data to this tool, researchers working on different materials can inform decision-making for sustainable use of nanomaterials, and avoid unintended impacts from their widespread application.Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-018-0120-4