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Nanomaterial life cycle in the environment

What is the behavior of nanoparticles in the environment?

The nanoparticles introduced into the environment may generate thanks to various processes (deposition, volatilization,…) a contamination of air, ground, surface and subterranean waters and thereby cause an exhibition of living organisms. In order to assess environmental impact of nanomaterials, the understanding of their behavior, their composition, the transfer mechanisms and transformations into the environment is fundamental.

In the environment, nanomaterials may suffer 4 types of transformations: physical, chemical, biological and interactions with macromolecules [G.V. Lowry et al., Environmental Science and Technology 46 (2012) 6893-6899]. These processes are able to generate the transformation or the dissolution of some nanomaterials, aggregation modifications.

Nanomaterial life cycle in the environment [Les nanomatériaux: effets sur la santé de l'homme et sur l'environnement, Afsset (2006].