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    Innovative devices and tools for exposure assessment and remediation play an integral role in preventing exposure to hazardous substances. New solutions for detecting and remediating organic, inorganic, and mixtures of contaminants can improve public health as a means of primary prevention. Using a public health prevention model, detection and remediation technologies contribute to primary prevention as tools to identify areas of high risk (e.g. contamination hotspots), to recognize hazards (bioassay tests), and to prevent exposure through contaminant cleanups. Primary prevention success is ultimately governed by the widespread acceptance of the prevention tool. And, in like fashion, detection and remediation technologies must convey technical and sustainability advantages to be adopted for use. Hence, sustainability - economic, environmental, and societal - drives innovation in detection and remediation technology. The National Institute of Health (NIH) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program (SRP) is mandated to advance innovative detection, remediation, and toxicity screening technology development through grants to universities and small businesses. SRP recognizes the importance of fast, accurate, robust, and advanced detection technologies that allow for portable real-time, on-site characterization, monitoring, and assessment of contaminant concentration and/or toxicity. Advances in non-targeted screening, biological-based assays, passive sampling devices (PSDs), sophisticated modeling approaches, and precision-based analytical tools are making it easier to quickly identify hazardous "hotspots" and, therefore, prevent exposures. Innovation in sustainable remediation uses a variety of approaches: in situ remediation; harnessing the natural catalytic properties of biological processes (such as bioremediation and phytotechnologies); and application of novel materials science (such as nanotechnology, advanced membranes, new carbon materials, and materials reuse). Collectively, the investment in new technologies shows promise to reduce the amount and toxicity of hazardous substances in the environment. This manuscript highlights SRP funded innovative devices and tools for exposure assessment and remediation of organic, inorganic, and mixtures of contaminants with a particular focus on sustainable technologies.


    Heather F Henry, William A Suk. Sustainable exposure prevention through innovative detection and remediation technologies from the NIEHS Superfund Research Program. Reviews on environmental health. 2017 Mar 01;32(1-2):35-44

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    PMID: 28212109

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