Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Tiny nanoparticles may pose big risks; Clemson scientist seeks answers

Abstract:
Clemson scientist Stephen Klaine has been awarded two $400,000 EPA grants to study a subject that did not exist a decade ago. Klaine is part of the young field of nano-ecotoxicology: the investigation of the impact that nanoparticles have on the environment.

Tiny nanoparticles may pose big risks; Clemson scientist seeks answers

Clemson, SC | Posted on July 2nd, 2009

Klaine is interim director of the Clemson Institute of Environmental Toxicology. An aquatic toxicologist, Klaine's research has focused on interactions between manufactured materials and the environment, particularly how man-made chemicals affect water and organisms in rivers and streams. His most recent work has investigated the toxicological effects of pharmaceuticals in Lake Conestee and the Reedy River in Upstate South Carolina. With these EPA grants, Klaine will study the behavior of carbon nanomaterials in aquatic environments and how carbon nantotubes affect the aquatic food chain.

"Nano-ecotoxicology looks at topics we are just beginning to frame questions for," Klaine said. "How and how much will engineered nanoparticles interact with the environment? How will these phenomenally small particles interact with organisms — fish, plants, insects, bacteria — and soils and sediments? Before we can begin to understand their impact we have to find ways to know what we are looking for and analyze the results."

Nanotechnology is the science of the fantastically small. A nanometer is 1 billionth of a meter. A typical piece of paper is 100,000 nanometers thick; a penny measures 19 million nanometers wide; one inch equals 25.4 million nanometers. Carbon nanotubes are made entirely of carbon atoms and have a diameter a 50,000th of that of a human hair.

There are more than 600 products containing nanoparticles sold globally, according to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. Most are food-safety, health and personal-care products. Sunscreen with UV-blocking nano-titanium dioxide leaves no white marks, food-storage boxes lined with a fillm of nano-silver destroy microbes and face cream packed with nanosomes improves skin moisturizing.

"It's far too early to say whether or not nanoparticles pose a substantial risk to harm the environment," said Klaine.

Researchers around the world are focused on understanding how these particles behave in the environment and how they interact with organisms, including humans. The multi-disciplinary team of investigators from Clemson University, the University of Michigan, Georgia Tech, Wright State University and the University of North Texas represent a comprehensive effort to understand the behavior of carbon nanoparticles in water, how they are taken up by organisms and if they are transferred to the food chain, which ultimately includes humans.

Klaine already has observed interactions between nanoparticles and organisms.

"Carbon nanotubes — CNTs — can get into the gut of the water flea — daphnia — and become part of the organism. How the uptake affects the organism and the food chain — fathead minnows feed on daphnia — is one of the questions that needs to be answered."

"We are dealing with a new technology and we must continue to explore its potential for unintended consequences until we have the information to adequately characterize the risk to the environment and humans," said Klaine. "As scientists we have an obligation to inform the public of potential safety concerns as well as the potential for better products."

####

About Clemson University
Today, Clemson is redefining the term “top-tier research university” by combining the best of two models: the scientific and technological horsepower of a major research university and the highly engaged academic and social environment of a small college. With a distinctive governance system that fosters stability in leadership, unique college structures that create an unmatched climate for collaboration, and a driven, competitive spirit that encourages faculty, staff and students to embrace bold, sometimes audacious, goals, Clemson has set its sights on being one of the nation’s top-20 public universities by 2011.

That vision — first outlined by President James F. Barker ’70 and officially adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2001 — has united members of the Clemson Family who understand what it takes to be a top research university and what Clemson’s success will mean for students, for South Carolina and for society.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Stephen J. Klaine
864-646-2961
864-710-6763 (cell)

Copyright © Clemson University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 6th Annual NYC Investor Summit 2017 November 16th, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

TUBALL nanotube-based concentrates recognised as the most innovative raw material for composites by JEC Group November 7th, 2017

Nanotube fiber antennas as capable as copper: Rice University researchers show their flexible fibers work well but weigh much less October 23rd, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

How to draw electricity from the bloodstream: A one-dimensional fluidic nanogenerator with a high power-conversion efficiency September 11th, 2017

Announcements

ICN2 researchers compute unprecedented values for spin lifetime anisotropy in graphene November 17th, 2017

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 6th Annual NYC Investor Summit 2017 November 16th, 2017

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

A new way to mix oil and water: Condensation-based method developed at MIT could create stable nanoscale emulsions November 8th, 2017

Quorum reports on how cryo prep techniques for SEM are being applied in the Laboratory of Food Technology & Engineering at the University of Ghent, Belgium November 7th, 2017

Research shows how DNA molecules cross nanopores: Study could inform biosensors, manufacturing, and more September 5th, 2017

Probiotics: Novel biosynthetic tool to develop metallic nanoparticles: This research article by Dr. Nida Akhtar et al has been published in Recent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2017 July 20th, 2017

Environment

Dendritic fibrous nanosilica: all-in-one nanomaterial for energy, environment and health November 4th, 2017

Nano-sized gold particles have been shaped to behave as clones in biomedicine November 3rd, 2017

Electrostatic force takes charge in bioinspired polymers November 2nd, 2017

How harmful are nano-copper and anti-fungal combinations in the waterways? October 27th, 2017

Water

A new way to mix oil and water: Condensation-based method developed at MIT could create stable nanoscale emulsions November 8th, 2017

Magnetized viruses attack harmful bacteria: Rice, China team uses phage-enhanced nanoparticles to kill bacteria that foul water treatment systems August 2nd, 2017

Bacteria-coated nanofiber electrodes clean pollutants in wastewater July 1st, 2017

Smart materials used in ultrasound behave similar to water, Penn chemists report June 16th, 2017

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

Oxford Instruments announces winner of the 2017 Sir Martin Wood Prize for Japan November 14th, 2017

A new way to mix oil and water: Condensation-based method developed at MIT could create stable nanoscale emulsions November 8th, 2017

Nanoshells could deliver more chemo with fewer side effects: In vitro study verifies method for remotely triggering release of cancer drugs November 8th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project