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NANOTECHNOLOGY IN THE FOOD CHAIN - Favv

NANOTECHNOLOGY IN THE FOOD CHAIN - Favv

122 Scanning electron

122 Scanning electron microscopic image of differently sized NP and MP in a plant extract References _______________________________________________ Boonen J., Baert B., Lambert J. & De Spiegeleer B. 2010. Influence of the formulation on skin penetration of silica micro-particles. submitted.

Predicting the physicochemical fate of metallic nanoparticles in aquatic environments Gijs Du Laing Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry and Applied Ecochemistry, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering – Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium E-mail: Gijs.DuLaing@UGent.be Engineered metallic nanoparticles can be beneficially used in consumer products, agricultural production and environmental remediation processes, but they can also have adverse effects on humans and their ecosystem. Transfer of these particles between aquatic and solid phases significantly affects their exposure to humans, organisms and plants. It is determined by the kinetics of several physicochemical transformation processes that can occur upon release of the particles into the water phase. The particles can be adsorbed from the water phase onto surfaces or they can aggregate into larger particles and precipitate, decreasing their mobility and availability in the water phase. On the other hand, they can also be dispersed by natural organic matter (Yang et al., 2009), and dissolution of material from the particle surface itself into solution can occur (Handy et al., 2008a). The surface properties of the nanoparticles are known to be one of the most important factors that govern their stability and mobility as colloidal suspensions, or their adsorption or aggregation and deposition in aquatic systems. They are mainly dependent on parameters such as temperature, ionic strength, pH, hardness, particle concentration and size, etc. In addition, occurring redox reactions and/or association of nanoparticles with natural organic matter or surfactants added to maintain the stability of colloidal suspensions, will further increase the complexity of interactions. Accordingly, particles released into different types of aquatic environments (e.g. varying hardness, salinity and redox potential) are expected to behave in various ways, which in turn leads to different exposure of humans, organisms and plants (French et al., 2009; Handy et al., 2008b). In addition, coagulated, precipitated or adsorbed nanoparticles could be transformed and/or remobilised on medium or longer term when 123

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