Agrochemistry, Environmental, and Geochemistry

Fate and Risks of Nanoparticles in Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments (#220)

Concerns about the environmental fate and effects of manufactured nanoparticles (MNPs) have stimulated studies to measure and predict environmental concentrations in air, water, and soil, to examine their fate in ecosystems and determine threshold concentrations for ecotoxicological effects on aquatic and terrestrial biota.

Research into the fate and toxicity of MNPs is often performed in synthetic media using pristine/commercially available materials at elevated concentrations. This scenario often provides little insight into the fate and toxicity of MNPs in natural environments at realistic exposure concentrations. In the natural environment, MNPs can undergo numerous reactions and transformations (e.g. dissolution and heteroaggregation) that will ultimately affect their fate and toxicity.

Models developed to predict environmental concentrations of MNPs can have little applicability to natural systems because of our limited understanding of their fate and behaviour in different environmental compartments. Sensitive techniques are being developed that will enable the determination of MNPs concentrations in complex matrices (e.g. waters, soils/sediments, and biological tissues) in the presence of natural minerals and organic colloids; and assessment of the bioavailable fraction in environmental samples.

This symposium will present research findings that examine the detection, fate and toxicity of MNPs, with an emphasis on studies performed using environmentally-relevant MNPs and media and at realistic exposure concentrations.
Last update: Dec 28, 2015