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Reports on Environmental Toxicology from Northwestern University Provide New Insights

February 14, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation -- Investigators discuss new findings in Environmental Toxicology. According to news reporting from Evanston, Illinois, by VerticalNews journalists, research stated, "Nanostructured titania (nano-TiO2) is an engineered nanomaterial that can be cytotoxic primarily as a result of its ability to generate reactive oxygen species when illuminated. Production of nano-TiO2 has increased rapidly over the last decade, leading to concerns about its release into aquatic environments."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Northwestern University, "To address the possible ecological impacts of nano-TiO2, the authors used high-throughput screening to assess the responses of 4 bacteria representative of genera common in freshwater to short-term exposure (1-2h) in 2 natural aqueous media (stream water and lake water) to 2 widely used TiO2 products, pigment white 6 (PW6) and P25. Under simulated solar illumination PW6 and P25 reduced the abundance of viable Bacillus subtilis and Aeromonas hydrophila, confirming the cytotoxicity of nano-TiO2. In contrast, PW6 and P25 stimulated growth of Arthrobacter sp. and Klebsiella sp., which the authors hypothesize was driven by oxidation of organic matter in these natural waters into more labile compounds. This hypothesis is supported by data demonstrating PW6 photo-oxidation of organic matter in stream water, which subsequently supported enhanced bacterial growth. The results indicate that bacterial responses to nano-TiO2 can be species-specific, suggesting that nano-TiO2 may alter bacterial community composition and function."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Finally, the results indicate that bacterial responses to nano-TiO2 are influenced by the water matrix, emphasizing the importance of assessing bacterial responses to nanomaterials in natural environmental media."

For more information on this research see: COMMON FRESHWATER BACTERIA VARY IN THEIR RESPONSES TO SHORT-TERM EXPOSURE TO NANO-TiO2. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2014;33(2):317-327. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St, Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA. (Wiley-Blackwell -; Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting C.T.T. Binh, Northwestern University, Dept. of Civil & Environm Engn, Evanston, IL, United States. Additional authors for this research include T.Z. Tong, J.F. Gaillard, K.A. Gray and J.J. Kelly.

Keywords for this news article include: Evanston, Illinois, United States, Environmental Toxicology, North and Central America

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Source: Ecology, Environment & Conservation

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