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Environmental concentrations of engineered nanomaterials: Review of modeling and analytical studies

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (peer-reviewed)
Author Gottschalk Fadri, Sun Tianyin, Nowack Bernd,
Project Mass flow analysis and environmental risk assessment of nanomaterials
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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Environmental Pollution
Volume (Issue) 181
Page(s) 287 - 300
Title of proceedings Environmental Pollution
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.06.003


Scientific consensus predicts that the worldwide use of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) leads to their release into the environment. We reviewed the available literature concerning environmental concentrations of six ENMs (TiO2, ZnO, Ag, fullerenes, CNT and CeO2) in surface waters, wastewater treatment plant effluents, biosolids, sediments, soils and air. Presently, a dozen modeling studies provide environmental concentrations for ENM and a handful of analytical works can be used as basis for a preliminary validation. There are still major knowledge gaps (e.g. on ENM production, application and release) that affect the modeled values, but over all an agreement on the order of magnitude of the environmental concentrations can be reached. True validation of the modeled values is difficult because trace analytical methods that are specific for ENM detection and quantification are not available. The modeled and measured results are not always comparable due to the different forms and sizes of particles that these two approaches target. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.