The complete remediation of extremely toxic elements, such as cadmium, must be achieved to control the various stages in their life cycles, from mining as virgin ore to using them as consumer and industrial end products, and recycling. Considerable progress has been made in monitoring cadmium ions, but sensors or captors that can simultaneously detect and remove toxic metal ions across a wide range of environments are still greatly needed. This article reviews the tools and the strategies for the environmental remediation of cadmium ions, with special emphasis on state-of-the-art colorimetric sensors. Selective colorimetric sensors based on immobilization of hydrophobic or hydrophilic chromophore molecules into nanosized space cavities have significant advantages because of their dual functionality, namely, early warning "detection" and removal of cadmium ions. This review concludes with a thorough evaluation of emerging challenges and future requirements in monitoring, detecting, and removing cadmium ions from environmental matrices.
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