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Detection and Characterization of Engineered Nanomaterials in the Environment: Current State-of-the-art and Future Directions Report, Annotated Bibliography, and Image Library
Montano, M., J. Ranville, G. Lowry, J. Blue, N. Hiremath, S. Koenig, AND M. Tuccillo. Detection and Characterization of Engineered Nanomaterials in the Environment: Current State-of-the-art and Future Directions Report, Annotated Bibliography, and Image Library. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-14/244, 2014.
The past two decades have seen a monumental increase in the production and manufacture of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). The novel properties afforded to these materials by their small size has made them ideal for numerous applications relating to energy, pharmaceuticals, and materials applications. With the increase in research funding for ENM applications, both public and private, and the incorporation of these materials into everyday consumer products, the global market value of nanotechnology is expected to exceed $1.5 trillion U.S.D. in the coming years[1-3]. This increasing production and implementation into commercial products ensures that engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) will continue to enter and to accumulate in the environment. Releases into the environment may occur sporadically by accidental spills, but a significant portion of ENPs long-term release may come from consumer product manufacture, use and disposal, and from intentional nanotechnology applications such as groundwater remediation and agricultural uses [4-6].
The increasing manufacture and implementation of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) will continue to lead to the release of these materials into the environment. Reliably assessing the environmental exposure risk of ENMs will depend highly on the ability to quantify and characterize these materials in environmental samples. However, performing these measurements is obstructed by the complexity of environmental sample matrices, physiochemical processes altering the state of the ENM, and the high background of naturally-occurring nanoparticles (NNPs), which may be similar in size, shape and composition of their engineered analogues. Current analytical techniques can be implemented to overcome some of these obstacles, but the ubiquity of NNPs presents a unique challenge requiring the exploitation of properties that discriminate engineered and natural nanomaterials. To this end, new techniques are being developed that take advantage of the nature of ENMs to discern them from naturally occurring analogues. This paper reviews the current techniques utilized in the detection and characterization ENMs in environmental samples as well as discusses promising new approaches to overcome the high backgrounds of NNPs. Despite their occurrence in the atmosphere and soil, this review will be limited to a discussion of aqueous based samples containing ENPs, as this environment will serve as a principal medium for the environmental dispersion of ENMs.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION