Nano EHS Research: Life After Acute Hazard Assessment
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Stephen J. Klaine, Ph.D.
Institute of Environmental Toxicology (CU-ENTOX)
Abstract: After more than a decade of Nano EHS research what have we learned? We can certainly work more quantitatively and more reproducibly with particles as aquatic contaminants. We have also discovered the value of collaborating with physicists and material scientists. We have also discovered that the vast majority of nanomaterials are NOT acutely toxic. This last point has allowed us to focus on more complex issues regarding biota-nanoparticle interactions including (1) teasing out the subtle differences between ion toxicity and particle toxicity for certain metallic nanoparticles such as silver; (2) understanding uptake mechanisms; (3) developing safer nanomaterial alternatives to those known to be hazardous; and, (4) characterizing mode of action pathways. This seminar will deliberately NOT address the first since it is the primary focus of many investigators (including many present). Instead, I will briefly discuss current advances in our laboratory focused on the last three. Specifically, this seminar will focus on the uptake of nanoparticles into aquatic vascular plants; the comparative toxicity between carbon and quantum dots; and, the development of an adverse outcome pathway for carbon nanotube toxicity to pelagic filter feeding organisms using results of both in vitro and in vivo assays.