Nano Archive

Identifying and predicting biological risks associated with manufactured nanoparticles in aquatic ecosystems

MacCormack, Tyson J. and Goss, Greg G. (2008) Identifying and predicting biological risks associated with manufactured nanoparticles in aquatic ecosystems. JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, 12 (3). pp. 286-296.

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Abstract

Nanotechnology has great potential for revolutionizing the treatment of disease, optimizing manufacturing processes and consumer products, and remediating polluted environments. Increased use and disposal of products containing nanoparticles will inevitably result in their accumulation in aquatic ecosystems via direct input and runoff from contaminated soils. Aquatic organisms are particularly susceptible to pollutants due to their large, fragile respiratory epithelium. This potential toxicity can be exacerbated by common stressors, such as changes in water temperature, salinity, pH, and oxygen levels, and must be considered in environmental risk assessments. The unique properties of manufactured nanoparticles present serious problems for risk assessment strategies, and there is a concern in the regulatory community that standard toxicological methods may be inadequate to address these compounds. Our capacity to detect and quantify nanoparticles is extremely limited, especially in complex biological, soil, or water samples. The distinctive chemistry and physical structure of each nanomaterial will determine its bioavailability, and these parameters can be altered over time or with changes in water chemistry. The use of advanced analytical techniques, such as functional genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, can provide a global assessment of the biological response to a novel chemical and will be important in determining the potential toxicity of nanoparticles. Industry should adopt a proactive approach to identifying potential risks to aquatic ecosystems so that the benefits of nanotechnology can be fully realized.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:environmental risk assessment; genomics; industrial ecology; metabolomics; proteomics; toxicology
Subjects:NanoSafety > Environment, health and safety aspects of nanotechnology
ID Code:700
Deposited By:SPI
Deposited On:19 Jan 2009 16:08
Last Modified:19 Jan 2009 16:08

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