Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, March 2010
With growing production and use of manufactured nanoparticles in a large range of consumer products, regulatory agencies worldwide are addressing the risk that these substances may pose to both the environment and human health. An assessment with respect to ecosystem health requires an ecological risk assessment that must take into account current knowledge about nanomaterial uses, environmental concentrations, fate, and effects, to determine both predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) and predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs).
This report reviews the available literature on the fate of manufactured nanomaterials in the aquatic and terrestrial environment. Seven classes of nanomaterials were considered: (i) metal oxides; (ii) carbon products (n-C60 fullerenes, carbon nanotubes); (iii) metals; (iv) quantum dots and semiconductors; (v) nanoclays, (vi) dendrimers, and (vii) nanoemulsions.