Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Rapidly expanding growth in the field of nanotechnology has led to the development of numerous applications of nanomaterials in industrial (e.g., paints, electronics) and consumer (e.g., cosmetics, clothing treatments) products. These engineered nanoparticle (NP)-containing products have, however, the potential to release particles (single or aggregates) or ions by means of wastewater discharge into the aquatic environment. SCENIHR (2006) emphasized that the behavior of NPs is critically dependent on several particle characteristics, including size, surface area and surface reactivity, and that risk assessments for both human health and the environment have to be based on these characteristics. However, in practice, risks of NPs are in most cases assessed on the basis of their chemical composition alone and, to date, no widely accepted or well-defined risk assessment methods or test strategies exist explicitly designed for NPs.