NanoFASE Advisor Gregory V. Lowry of Carnegie Mellon University informed the Nature Nanotechnology community of new modelling capabilities to increase accuracy of environmental exposure concentration estimates and associated risks – centring on a recent publication by NanoFASE’s Véronique Adam et col. from EMPA.
Current models used to estimate ENM concentration in the environment overestimate the final ENM concentrations, and therefore their probable risk, because they do not consider the physico-chemical transformations ENMs undergo in their environmental journey.
The work presented by Véronique Adam and EMPA coworkers helps to refine Mass Flow Analysis models by determining the probability of a particle having undergone a particular transformation, thus yielding a better estimate of the true masses and forms of particles entering different environmental compartments.
Lowry calls Adam et al.’s particular results on nanosilver transformations ‘intriguing’, and explains both the work’s potential to improve PEC numbers, risk assessment and toxicological insights, and, the limits that should be addressed by such modelling and further research.
Figure from Adam, Caballero-Guzman & Nowack (July 2018): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.07.108
Read opinion and analysis by Lowry (November 2018): https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-018-0299-4