Nano & wastewater : volumetry in biomedical publications since 2000

This chart was built by searching PubMed for publications mentionning the prefix nano and wastewater topic in their title or abstract.

Differential toxicity of carbon nanomaterials in fruit flies

According to a new study carried out on Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies and published in Environmental Science & Technology :

– Larval fruit flies showed no physical or reproductive effects from consuming carbon nanoparticles (fullerene C60, carbon black, or single-walled or multiwalled nanotubes) in their food, “despite evidence that the nanomaterials are taken up and become sequestered in tissue

– Carbon black and single-walled nanotubes in dry form “adhered extensively to fly surfaces, overwhelmed natural grooming mechanisms, and led to impaired locomotor function and mortality” of exposed adult flies within a few hours

– Fullerene and multi-walled nanotubes in dry form “adhered weakly, could be removed by grooming, and did not reduce locomotor function or survivorship” of adult flies.

The authors conclude “that these differences are primarily due to differences in nanomaterial superstructure, or aggregation state, and that the combination of adhesion and grooming can lead to active fly borne nanoparticle transport.”

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# Carbon nanoparticles toxic to adult fruit flies but benign to young

# Nanoparticles & ecotoxicity in biomedical publications since 2000 ]]]

EPA draft report : “Nanomaterial case studies : nanoscale titanium dioxide in water treatment and in topical sunscreen”

The EPA released this July for review and public comment a draft version of a (rather huge) report entitled “Nanomaterial case studies : nanoscale titanium dioxide in water treatment and in topical sunscreen” (222 p).

According to the preamble (p 14) : ” (…) This document is a starting point to determine what is known and what needs to be known about selected nanomaterials as part of a process to identify and prioritize research to inform future assessments of the potential ecological and health implications of these materials. Two specific applications of nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) are considered: as an agent for removing arsenic from drinking water and as an active ingredient in topical sunscreen. (…)

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – Life cycle stages : “This chapter discusses the life cycle of nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) as either a water treatment agent or an ingredient in topical sunscreen. Each stage in the life cycles of the respective applications is considered from the standpoint of potential releases to the environment.

Chapter 3 – Fate and transport : This chapter “explores what might happen to nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) after it is released to the environment at various stages of the product life cycles for water treatment agents or topical sunscreens.

Chapter 4 – Exposure-dose characterization : “This chapter examines the potential for biota and humans to be exposed to nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) and associated pollutants through various environmental pathways tracing back to the life cycle of two types of applications of nano-TiO2, water treatment agents and topical sunscreens.

Chapter 5 – Characterization of effects : “This chapter provides information on the factors that influence nano-TiO2 ecological and health effects (Section 5.1), the ecological effects of nano-TiO2 (Section 5.2), and the toxicological and human health effects of nano-TiO2 (Section 5.3).

As stated on the dedicated EPA web page, “each chapter includes a list of questions that reflect information gaps in that portion of the document. Some of these information gaps or research needs are specific to the respective uses of nano-TiO2 either as a water treatment agent or as an ingredient in topical sunscreen. Other research needs may apply more broadly to nano-TiO2 irrespective of its application, and still other needs may apply even more widely to nanomaterials in general.

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# EPA report on the use of nanoscale TiO2 in water and sunscreens

# Nanotechnology & sunscreens – EWG’s 2009 investigation

# TiO2 nanoparticles in biomedical publications since 2000 

# Nanofiltration in patents since 2000 ]]]

Nano review papers for environmental NGOs by the EEB

The European Environmental Bureau is producing a series of four papers “meant to serve as a capacity building tool empowering environmental NGOs to work actively in the field of sustainable governance and use of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials.”  Already two are available online :

Challenges and opportunities to green nanotechnologies (April 2009 ; 13 p)

Nanomaterials – health and environmental concerns (July 2009 ; 17 p)

Nanoparticles & ecotoxicity : volumetry in biomedical publications since 2000

This chart was built by searching PubMed for publications mentionning nanoparticles and ecotoxicity in their title or abstract.


NGOs challenge claims about environmental benefits of nanotechnologies

IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network) and EEB (European Environmental Bureau), two international coalitions of NGOs, recently pointed out in a press release a “mismatch between claims and reality” concerning potential environmental benefits of nanotechnologies. According to them, ” (…) early evidence of the much greater energy demands of producing nanoparticles, the significant quantities of potentially toxic waste their production generates, and the ecotoxic behaviour of many nanoparticles themselves has cast doubt on industry claims that nanotechnology offers ‘green’ solutions to the current ecological crises (…) Without a proper and comprehensive risk and life cycle analysis to balance the current commercialisation of high-risk applications with little or no proven societal benefits, environmental costs could be high and the technology as a whole distrusted or rejected by the public.”

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# Environmentally beneficial nanotechnologies – barriers and opportunities (95 p)

# Nanoparticles & ecotoxicity – volumetry in biomedical publications since 2000 ]]]

Scope of the French public nanotech debate

According to the official document signed in late February 2009 (see also corresponding press release), the French public nanotech debate forecasted for next autumn will be focused on general orientations of development and regulation of nanotechnologies. The debate will be based on a benefit/risk analysis (especially health and environmental benefits and risks) of the various nanotech applications and aims at shedding light on the orientation of the French government action in the following fields :

– modalities of support to nanotech research and innovation

– characterization of exposure and assessment of  toxicity for humans and ecosystems, including the elaboration of systems of reference and tools for nanoparticle detection

– information and protection of workers at workplace

– organisation of control and monitoring, governance.

The document also mentions that given the global stakes of nanotech research and innovation in the field of manufactured nanomaterials and nanosystems, important coverage will be given to international and European aspects of these issues.