How to assess exposure of aquatic organisms to manufactured nanoparticles?

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2011

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Ecological risk of chemicals is measured by the quotient of predicted no-effect concentrations and predicted exposure concentrations, which are hard to assess for manufactured nanomaterials (NMs). This paper proposes modifications to currently used models, in order to make them suitable for estimating exposure concentrations of NMs in the aquatic environment. We have evaluated the adequacy of the current guidance documents for use with NMs and conclude that nano-specific fate processes, such as sedimentation and dissolution need to be incorporated. We have reviewed the literature on sedimentation and dissolution of NMs in environmentally relevant systems. We deduce that the overall kinetics of water–sediment transport of NMs should be close to first order. The lack of data on dissolution of NMs under environmentally realistic conditions calls for a pragmatic decision on which rates to be used in modeling. We find that first order removal kinetics for dissolution seems adequate. Based on limited data from literature, probable removal rates range from 0 to 10−4s−1 for sedimentation, and from 0 to 10−5s−1 for dissolution. Further experimental data at environmentally relevant conditions for sedimentation and dissolution of NMs is needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironment International
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1068-1077
StatePublished - 2011
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 66


  • Nanomaterials, Dissolution, Sedimentation, Exposure assessment, Aquatic environment
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