Aquatic toxicity of manufactured nanomaterials: challenges and recommendations for future toxicity testing

Schultz,AG, Boyle,D, Chamot,D, Ong,KJ, Wilkinson,KJ, McGeer,JC, Sunahara,G and Goss,GG 2014, Aquatic toxicity of manufactured nanomaterials: challenges and recommendations for future toxicity testing, Environmental chemistry, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 207-226, doi: 10.1071/EN13221.

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Title Aquatic toxicity of manufactured nanomaterials: challenges and recommendations for future toxicity testing
Author(s) Schultz,AGORCID iD for Schultz,AG
Journal name Environmental chemistry
Volume number 11
Issue number 3
Start page 207
End page 226
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Clayton, Vic
Publication date 2014-06-20
ISSN 1448-2517
Summary  Aquatic nanotoxicologists and ecotoxicologists have begun to identify the unique properties of the nanomaterials (NMs) that potentially affect the health of wildlife. In this review the scientific aims are to discuss the main challenges nanotoxicologists currently face in aquatic toxicity testing, including the transformations of NMs in aquatic test media (dissolution, aggregation and small molecule interactions), and modes of NM interference (optical interference, adsorption to assay components and generation of reactive oxygen species) on common toxicity assays. Three of the major OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) priority materials, titanium dioxide (TiO2), zinc oxide (ZnO) and silver (Ag) NMs, studied recently by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Nanotechnology Initiative (NNBNI), a Canadian consortium, have been identified to cause both bulk effect, dissolution-based (i.e. free metal), or NM-specific toxicity in aquatic organisms. TiO2 NMs are most toxic to algae, with toxicity being NM size-dependent and principally associated with binding of the materials to the organism. Conversely, dissolution of Zn and Ag NMs and the subsequent release of their ionic metal counterparts appear to represent the primary mode of toxicity to aquatic organisms for these NMs. In recent years, our understanding of the toxicological properties of these specific OECD relevant materials has increased significantly. Specifically, researchers have begun to alter their experimental design to identify the different behaviour of these materials as colloids and, by introducing appropriate controls and NM characterisation, aquatic nanotoxicologists are now beginning to possess a clearer understanding of the chemical and physical properties of these materials in solution, and how these materials may interact with organisms. Arming nanotoxicologists with this understanding, combined with knowledge of the physics, chemistry and biology of these materials is essential for maintaining the accuracy of all future toxicological assessments.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/EN13221
Field of Research 100701 Environmental Nanotechnology
100713 Nanotoxicology, Health and Safety
050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
060204 Freshwater Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, CSIRO Publishing
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