Survey of industrial perceptions for the use of nanomaterials for in-home drinking water purification devices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As businesses, specifically technology developers and industrial suppliers, strive to meet growing demand for higher quality drinking water, the use of engineered nanomaterials in commercial point-of-use (POU) in-home water purification devices are becoming an increasingly important option. Anecdotally, some businesses appear wary of developing and marketing nanomaterial-enabled devices because of concerns that they will face onerous regulation and consumer pushback. However, little of substance is known about business perceptions of and attitudes toward the use of engineered nanomaterials in POU water purification devices, or how these compare with consumer perceptions. To address this knowledge-gap, we administered a 14-question survey among 65 participants from US-based industrial companies focused on drinking water purification. Our results indicate that the dominant concerns for businesses are costs and public perceptions associated with nanomaterial-enabled POU devices for drinking water purification. Cost-specific barriers include competition from more conventional technologies, and tensions between operational versus capital costs. 57% of respondents were concerned or very concerned that public perceptions will influence the long-term viability of nanomaterial-enabled POU devices for drinking water purification. 49% of respondents stated that government regulation of nanomaterials would be the preferred approach to ensure public safety, followed by the certification of POU devices (28%). When asked about specific nanomaterials and their potential use in POU devices for drinking water purification, respondents ranked carbon nanotubes as the nanomaterial with highest concern for environmental health and safety, followed by silver, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and copper. Respondents ranked nanoclays as the nanomaterial with highest likelihood for public acceptance, followed by silica, cerium oxide, titanium dioxide, and aluminum oxide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100320
JournalNanoImpact
Volume22
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Drinking water
  • Industry perception
  • Nanomaterials
  • Point-of-use
  • Public perception
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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