The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (Miljøstyrelsen) has published a report, entitled Environmental fate and behaviour of nanomaterials: New knowledge on important transformation processes. The authors studied key environmental transformation processes both in general, and as applied to nine case-study materials.
A specific overview of the processes of low, medium and high importance is given in the report; however, the authors indicated there were some ‘general patterns that emerged from this analysis’:
- ‘The overall comparison of the relative importance of key transformation processes for environmental fate modelling of engineered nanomaterials showed that: i) agglomeration/aggregations; ii) sedimentation; iii) NOM (natural organic matter) adsorption, and; iv) sorption were the processes of the highest importance for all ENMs regardless of chemical composition
- ‘Some transformation processes are highly material-specific’
- ‘Due to their varying chemical compositions and the possibility of ‘tuning’ the specific properties of Quantum Dots, their ability to take part in environmental transformation processes cannot be generalised but will have to be evaluated case-by-case
Furthermore the authors pointed out that ‘the following knowledge gaps needs (sic) to be addressed in the development of environmental fate modelling and exposure assessment of ENMs:
- ‘Knowledge gaps related to environmental transformation processes of ENMs…
- Knowledge gaps regarding ENM characterization and measuring methods are explored and minimised…
- Empirical and experimental data-gaps should be closed, e.g. for data on ENM production quantities, specific uses and use concentration, as well as quantitate data on release during production, transport, use and disposal’
This report is the first report from the NanoDEN (Nanoamterials – Occurrence and effects in the Danish Environment) project. The project was commissioned by the Danish EPA in December 2012.
Follow this link to read the full report.