The current state of engineered nanomaterials in consumer goods and waste streams: the need to develop nanoproperty-quantifiable sensors for monitoring engineered nanomaterials
Kelsey Wise, Murphy Brasuel
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Abstract: As nanomaterials are harnessed for medicine and other technological advances, an understanding of the toxicology of these new materials is required to inform our use. This toxicological knowledge will be required to establish the medical and environmental regulations required to protect consumers and those involved in nanomaterial manufacturing. Nanoparticles of titanium oxide, carbon nanotubes, semiconductor quantum dots, gold, and silver represent a high percentage of the nanotechnology currently available or currently poised to reach consumers. For these nanoparticles, this review aims to identify current applications, the current methods used for characterization and quantification, current environmental concentrations (if known), and an introduction to the toxicology research. Continued development of analytical tools for the characterization and quantification of nanomaterials in complex environmental and biological samples will be required for our understanding of the toxicology and environmental impact of nanomaterials. Nearly all materials exhibit toxicity at a high enough concentration. Robust, rapid, and cost effective analytical techniques will be required to determine current background levels of anthropogenic, accidental, and engineered nanoparticles in air, water, and soil. The impact of the growing number of engineered nanoparticles used in consumer goods and medical applications can then be estimated. This will allow toxicological profiles relevant to the demonstrated or predicted environmental concentrations to be determined.
Keywords: titanium dioxide nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, semiconductor quantum dots, gold nanoparticles, silver nanoparticles, nanoparticles environmental concentrations
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