pictos_nano_animations  pictos_nano_videos  pictos_nano_cartoons  pictos_nano_quiz
 animations  videos  cartoons  quiz

Critical phases

What are critical phases?

Evaluate the life cycle of nanoproducts is based on the identification of possible risks from the design to the destruction or recycling. Various phases may generate "free" nanoparticles at the level of:

  • processes: rejection of nanopowders or of nanomaterials from manufacturing industries (production, storing and transportation), potential accidents, dismantling of installations,
  • products: ageing, human interventions, destruction and/or recycling of out of service products.

During the aging of products containing nanomaterials, a release of particles can occur.

In the case of textile products, 4 main factors affect the quantity of nanoparticle release, the transformation of the textile in its lifetime [D.M. Mitrano et al., Environmental International 77 (2015) 132-147]:

  • the incorporation method into the material (composition of the textile, shape of the nanoparticles, location, adhesion to the matrice),
  • use of the textile (temperature, abrasion, sweat),
  • cleaning and the related products (detergent, bleach),
  • elimination.

Depending on the design of the material and external impacts, nanoparticles can be release in the form of simple particles, agglomerates, embedded in a matrix, and/or as  dissolved ions [C. Lorenz et al., Chemosphere 89 (2012) 817-824 / D.M. Mitrano et al., Environmental International 77 (2015) 132-147 / D.M. Mitrano et al., Environmental Science and Technology 50 (2016) 5790-5799].

As an example, in the case of nanosilver in textiles, a large part will probably release in the wastewater after washing. In the water treatment plant, due to a chemical transformation, the most part of the silver nanoparticles seems to transform into Ag2S, a less toxic specie [C. Levard et al., Environmental Science and Technology 46 (2012) 6900-6914]. Release of particles is less important in the case of skin contact,  biological fluids (sweat,…) or incineration [D.M. Mitrano et al., ACS Nano 8 (2014) 7208-7219 / E. Lombi et al., Chemosphere 111 (2014) 352-358 / N. von Götz et al., Environmental Science and Technologie 47 (2013) 9979-9987].

Influences of use activities and waste management on environmental releases of engineered nanomaterials [H. Wigger et al., Science of the Total Environment 535 (2015) 160-171].