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Right-click to download interview with Denise Mitrano (10.4 MB MP3)

Abstract:

Assessing the risks of manufactured nanomaterials (MNM) has been almost exclusively focused on the pristine, as produced materials with far fewer studies delving into more complex, real world scenarios. However, when considering a life-cycle perspective, it is clear that MNM released from commercial products during manufacturing, use and disposal are far more relevant both in terms of more realistic environmental fate and transport as well as environmental risk. The quantity in which the particles are released and their (altered) physical and chemical form should be identified and it is these metrics that should be used to assess the exposure and hazard the materials pose. The goal of this review is to 1) provide a rationale for using a life-cycle based approach when dealing with MNM transformations, 2) to elucidate the different chemical and physical forces which age and transform MNMs and 3) assess the pros and cons of current analytical techniques as they pertain to the measurement of aged and transformed MNM in these complex release scenarios. Specifically, we will describe the possible transformations common MNMs may undergo during the use or disposal of nano-products based on how these products will be used by the consumer by taking stock of the current nano-enabled products on the market. Understanding the impact of these transformations may help forecast the benefits and/or risks associated with the use of products containing MNM.

Full article at:

Mitrano M and Nowack B The need for a life-cycle based aging paradigm for nanomaterials: Importance of real-world test systems to identify realistic particle transformations 2016 Nanotechnology 28 072001.

For more on the life cycle of nano materials, visit the Nanotechnology focus collection.