News Column

Data on Environmental Science and Technology Discussed by Researchers at Duke University

June 20, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation -- A new study on Environmental Science and Technology is now available. According to news reporting originating in Durham, North Carolina, by VerticalNews journalists, research stated, "The use of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in consumer-products is rising. Much of these AgNPs are expected to enter the wastewater stream, with up to 10% of that eventually released as effluent into aquatic ecosystems with unknown ecological consequences."

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from Duke University, "We examined AgNP impacts on aquatic ecosystems by comparing the effects of two AgNP sizes (12 and 49 nm) to ionic silver (Ag+; added as AgNO3), a historically problematic contaminant with known impacts. Using 19 wetland mesocosms, we added Ag to the 360 L aquatic compartment to reach 2.5 mg Ag L-1. Silver treatments and two coating controls were done in triplicate, and compared to four replicate controls. All three silver treatments were toxic to aquatic plants, leading to a significant release of dissolved organic carbon and chloride following exposure. Simultaneously, dissolved methane concentrations increased forty-fold relative to controls in all three Ag treatments. Despite dramatic toxicity differences observed in lab studies for these three forms of Ag, our results show surprising convergence in the direction, magnitude, and duration of ecosystem-scale impacts for all Ag treatments."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Our results suggest that all forms of Ag changed solute chemistry driving transformations of Ag which then altered Ag impacts."

For more information on this research see: Emerging Contaminant or an Old Toxin in Disguise? Silver Nanoparticle Impacts on Ecosystems. Environmental Science & Technology, 2014;48(9):5229-5236. Environmental Science & Technology can be contacted at: Amer Chemical Soc, 1155 16TH St, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. (American Chemical Society -; Environmental Science & Technology -

Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting B.P. Colman, Duke University, Center Environm Implicat Nanotechnol, Durham, NC 27708, United States. Additional authors for this research include B. Espinasse, C.J. Richardson, C.W. Matson, G.V. Lowry, D.E. Hunt, M.R. Wiesner and E.S. Bernhardt.

Keywords for this news article include: Durham, United States, North Carolina, North and Central America, Environmental Science and Technology

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Source: Ecology, Environment & Conservation

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