Mura, Stefania and Seddaiu, Giovanna and Bacchini, Fabio and Roggero, Pier Paolo and Greppi, Gianfranco (2013) Advances of nanotechnology in agro-environmental studies. Italian Journal of Agronomy, Vol. 8 (3), e18. eISSN 2039-6805. Article.
With the increase in the world population and the demand for food, new agricultural practices have been developed to improve food production through the use of more effective pesticides and fertilisers. These technologies can lead to an uncontrolled release of undesired substances into the environment, with the potential to contaminate soil and groundwater. Today, nanotechnology represents a promising approach to improve agricultural production and remediate polluted sites. This paper reviews the recent applications of nanotechnologies in agro-environmental studies with particular attention to the fate of nanomaterials once introduced in water and soil, to the advantages of their use and their possible toxicology. Findings show that the use of nanomaterials can improve the quality of the environment and help detect and remediate polluted sites. Only a small number of nanomaterials demonstrated potential toxic effects. These are discussed in detail.
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