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Home > News > Manufactured Nanoparticles Could Pose a Hazard to Crops, But Are They a Risk?

August 25th, 2012

Manufactured Nanoparticles Could Pose a Hazard to Crops, But Are They a Risk?

The real issue—and indeed as with any issue related to chemicals and Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) concerns—is what is the real risk of these nanoparticles finding themselves in soil concentrations equal to those that were used in the experiments. The relevant formula is Hazard x Exposure = Risk. If we say that MNMs are a hazard, but have no figures on the level of exposure, how are we supposed to determine risk?

In other words, what concentrations of metal oxides did the researchers use in the soil? The answer is not explicit in either the news stories covering the research, nor the abstract that we have access to in the PNAS journal reference. While the researchers do say in at least one of the articles covering the research that ""MNMs…have a high affinity for activated sludge bacteria, and thus concentrate in biosolids," it's still not clear in what kind of concentrations these nanoparticles exist in the environment, or what that might mean in terms of risk.


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