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Review of nanomaterial aging and transformations through the life cycle of nano-enhanced products

Abstract : In the context of assessing potential risks of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), life cycle thinking can represent a holistic view on the impacts of ENPs through the entire value chain of nano-enhanced products from production, through use, and finally to disposal. Exposure to ENPs in consumer or environmental settings may either be to the original, pristine ENPs, or more likely, to ENPs that have been incorporated into products, released, aged and transformed. Here, key product-use related aging and transformation processes affecting ENPs are reviewed. The focus is on processes resulting in ENP release and on the transformation(s) the released particles undergo in the use and disposal phases of its product life cycle for several nanomaterials (Ag, ZnO, TiO 2 , carbon nanotubes, CeO 2 , SiO 2 etc.). These include photochemical transformations, oxidation and reduction, dissolution, precipitation , adsorption and desorption, combustion, abrasion and biotransformation, among other biogeochemical processes. To date, few studies have tried to establish what changes the ENPs undergo when they are incorporated into, and released from, products. As a result there is major uncertainty as to the state of many ENPs following their release because much of current testing on pristine ENPs may not be fully relevant for risk assessment purposes. The goal of this present review is therefore to use knowledge on the life cycle of nano-products to derive possible transformations common ENPs in nano-products may undergo based on how these products will be used by the consumer and eventually discarded. By determining specific gaps in knowledge of the ENP transformation process, this approach should prove useful in narrowing the number of physical experiments that need to be conducted and illuminate where more focused effort can be placed.
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Denise Mitrano, Sylvie Motellier, Simon Clavaguera, Bernd Nowack. Review of nanomaterial aging and transformations through the life cycle of nano-enhanced products. Environment International, Elsevier, 2015, 77, pp.132-147. ⟨10.1016/j.envint.2015.01.013⟩. ⟨cea-01344057⟩

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