U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Date of this Version



Chemosphere 112 (2014) 62–69


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


With a dramatic rise in complexity, needs of nanotoxicology research go beyond simple forms of nanomaterials. This study compared the phototoxicity of nano-TiO2 and graphene–TiO2 nanocomposite (GNP). GNP was synthesized based on a hydrothermal method, which simultaneously performed the reduction of graphene oxide and nano-TiO2 loading. A series of acute toxicity tests of nano-TiO2, graphene and GNP was performed on two aquatic organisms, Daphnia magna and Oryzias latipes. Fast and substantial agglomeration and sedimentation of nanoparticles in test media and surface attachment of nano-TiO2 and GNP on D. magna surface was observed. Similar phototoxicity of nano-TiO2 andGNPfor both species existed, though compared with nano-TiO2, GNP had a 2.3-fold increase in visible light photocatalytic ROS generation. In summary, this study demonstrated the significance of illumination spectrum, particle behavior, and species sensitivity on nanophototoxicity, and the needs for research on increasingly sophisticated functional materials.