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Open AccessArticle

Modeling Flows and Concentrations of Nine Engineered Nanomaterials in the Danish Environment

Environmental, technical and scientific services-ETSS, CH-7558 Strada, Switzerland
COWI A/S, Parallelvej 2, Kongens Lyngby, DK 2800, Denmark
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, EMPA, CH-9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mónica Amorim
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 5581-5602;
Received: 16 March 2015 / Revised: 28 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate and Effect of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials)
Predictions of environmental concentrations of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) are needed for their environmental risk assessment. Because analytical data on ENM-concentrations in the environment are not yet available, exposure modeling represents the only source of information on ENM exposure in the environment. This work provides material flow data and environmental concentrations of nine ENM in Denmark. It represents the first study that distinguishes between photostable TiO2 (as used in sunscreens) and photocatalytic TiO2 (as used in self-cleaning surfaces). It also provides first exposure estimates for quantum dots, carbon black and CuCO3. Other ENM that are covered are ZnO, Ag, CNT and CeO2. The modeling is based for all ENM on probability distributions of production, use, environmental release and transfer between compartments, always considering the complete life-cycle of products containing the ENM. The magnitude of flows and concentrations of the various ENM depends on the one hand on the production volume but also on the type of products they are used in and the life-cycles of these products and their potential for release. The results reveal that in aquatic systems the highest concentrations are expected for carbon black and photostable TiO2, followed by CuCO3 (under the assumption that the use as wood preservative becomes important). In sludge-treated soil highest concentrations are expected for CeO2 and TiO2. Transformation during water treatments results in extremely low concentrations of ZnO and Ag in the environment. The results of this study provide valuable environmental exposure information for future risk assessments of these ENM. View Full-Text
Keywords: engineered nanomaterials; material flow modeling; environmental concentrations; Denmark engineered nanomaterials; material flow modeling; environmental concentrations; Denmark
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Gottschalk, F.; Lassen, C.; Kjoelholt, J.; Christensen, F.; Nowack, B. Modeling Flows and Concentrations of Nine Engineered Nanomaterials in the Danish Environment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 5581-5602.

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