A recent article by Nanowerk highlights the sometimes overlooked environmental benefits that nanotechnology may provide. While much focused is placed on the environmental, health, and safety impacts that free nanomaterials may create, very little mainstream discussion concerns the benefits that are being researched.
The Nanowerk article mentions programs in Europe that have the affect of monitoring or preventing pollution, such as self-cleaning paints and "anti-fouling" coatings. Further, there are at least four sites in the United States, and an at least two in Canada, using nanomaterials on an experimental basis to test groundwater remediation.
These kinds of advances in environmental protection and remediation should not be lost in the discussion over the possible impacts of nanotechnology. It is important to keep in mind that while there is potential for unintended impacts, nanotechnology can have many uses, including maintaining and supporting environmental health.