Navigation Links
Novel approach estimates nanoparticles in environment
Date:5/20/2009

DURHAM, N.C. Without knowing how much of an industrial chemical is being produced, it is almost impossible for scientists to determine if it poses any threat to the environment or human health.

Civil engineers at Duke University believe they have come up with a novel way of estimating how much of one such material titanium dioxide is being generated, laying the groundwork for future studies to assess any possible risks.

This information is especially valuable if the chemicals are in the form of nano-particles, which possess unique properties because of their miniscule size. Nanoparticles are attractive for a wide range of products, little is known about their consequences in the environment. One of the most widely used is the nanoparticle form of titanium dioxide, which can be found in such diverse products as sunscreens and toothpaste to paints and papers. It is also used in water treatment.

"The biggest problem we face in trying to determine any risks of titanium dioxide nanoparticles is that no one really knows how much of it there is," said Christine Robichaud, graduate student in civil and environmental engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering. The results of her analysis were published online in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology.

Robichaud found it especially difficult trying to collect this data, since the companies that process titanium dioxide were not willing to reveal information they deemed proprietary. So she used a novel approach developed by collaborators Lynne Zucker and Michael Darby at the University of California Los Angeles to estimate the rate of innovation in the biotechnology industry.

"We combined science and engineering knowledge with business and economic modeling to come up with what we think is the maximum amount of titanium dioxide nanoparticles out there," Robichaud said. "By taking the amount of bulk titanium dioxide produced, which is better understood, and applying the rates of new technologies to convert it to the nanoparticle form found in journal articles and patent applications, we estimated the maximum ceiling amount."

Based on her calculations, Robichaud found that the production of titanium dioxide nanoparticles was negligible in 2002 and rose to about 2.5 percent of the total amount of titanium dioxide produced today. By 2015, nanoparticle production is estimated to be about 10 percent of the total, as more companies switch to newer technology. Under the most aggressive scenario, practically all of titanium dioxide in the U.S., about 2.5 million metric tons, would be in nanoparticle form by 2025, Robichaud concluded.

"Knowing the amount of this material is important because the more of it we make, the more likely it is to enter the environment and come into contact with humans with unknown consequences," said Mark Wiesner, professor of civil and environmental engineering and senior member of the research team. He also directs the federally funded Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT), which is based at Duke.

"We do not have a good handle on how much is out there, and even less about what that might mean," he continued. "Finding an upper limit on the potential for exposure is the critical first step in assessing risk. Even if these nanoparticles are toxic, a low exposure to them may limit the risk. We just don't know yet. I like to use the example of sharks. Everyone knows they're dangerous, but not if you spend your entire life in Nebraska."

Now that the researchers have a better idea how much of this nanomaterial could be produced in the coming years, they plan to focus on specific types of products.

"We want to get a better idea of where in the process these nanoparticles might be released into the air, water or soil," Robichaud said. "It could be during mining, during the production of the nanoparticles, production of the specific product using the nanoparticles, the use of the product, or its ultimate disposal."


'/>"/>

Contact: Richard Merritt
richard.merritt@duke.edu
91-906-608-414
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. The Launch and Uptake of More Than 20 Novel Drugs Over The Next 10 Years Will Drive $12.5 Billion Growth in the Type 2 Diabetes Market
2. Results of phase III study on Labopharms novel antidepressant published in Psychiatry (Edgemont) Journal
3. Light Sciences Oncology Announces Results of Study on Immunotherapeutic Mechanism of Aptocine(TM), a Novel Light-Activated Drug Therapy for Cancer
4. ImQuest BioSciences and Arisyn Therapeutics Introduce Novel New HCV Therapeutic Agent at Hepatitis Conference
5. Novel therapy may prove effective in treatment of 30 percent of cancers
6. Telesso Technologies wins Popular Science Invention Award for its novel peripheral IV catheter
7. Medivation to Present at the Leerink Swann Novel Cancer Therapeutics Roundtable Conference
8. Ironwood and Forest to Present Additional Phase 2b Data for Novel Gastrointestinal Agent Linaclotide
9. Novel gene predicts local recurrence in early onset breast cancer
10. Novel gene predicts local recurrence in early-onset breast cancer
11. Positive Results for Ophthotechs Novel Therapy for Wet AMD - Study of Anti-PDGF and Anti-VEGF Therapy Shows Significant Neovascular Regression and Enhanced Visual Outcome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Novel approach estimates nanoparticles in environment
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's ... President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. ... 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... CT (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... long-term care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a ... Shelton Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor ... that explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy ... and puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), ... will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual ... Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Award of Excellence to Carol Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s ... 4 – 8. , In honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that uses pulsed ...   ... Jim Bertolina, ... Tom Tefft ... medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and business development ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , Sept. 18, 2017 ... in the fields of bioinformatics and immune ... to develop a protective avian influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. ... is distantly related to seasonal influenza and ... approaches, which rely on prior exposure to be ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... -- Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer Affairs ... for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle Ear ™, ... ... Hearing Aids ... store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids directly to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: