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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.


Current Status and Future Direction for Examining Engineered Nanoparticles in Natural Systems

Manuel Montano, Gregory Lowry, Frank von der Kammer, Julie Blue, James Ranville

Abstract

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 ENMs, as this environment will serve as a principal medium for the environmental dispersion of ENMs.

EN14037  Accepted 07 May 2014
 
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