Ecotoxicological Effects of Carbon Nanomaterials on Algae, Fungi and Plants
The ecotoxicological effects of carbon nanomateriales (CNMs), namely fullerenes and carbon nanotubes, on algae, fungi and plants are analyzed. In different toxicity tests, both direct and indirect effects were found. The direct effects are determined by nanomaterial chemical composition and surface reactivity, which might catalyze redox reactions in contact with organic molecules and affect respiratory processes. Some indirect effects of carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) are physical restraints or release of toxic ions. Accumulation of CNPs in photosynthetic organs provokes obstruction in stomata, foliar heating and alteration in physiological processes. The phytotoxicity studies of CNMs should be focused on determining phytotoxicity mechanisms, size distribution of CNPs in solution, uptake and translocation of nanoparticles by plants, on characterization of their physical and chemical properties in rhizosphere and on root surfaces. More studies on plants and algae, as a part of food chain, are needed to understand profoundly the toxicity and health risks of CNMs as ecotoxicological stressors. Correct and detailed physical and chemical characterization of CNMs is very important to establish the exposure conditions matching the realistic ones. Ecotoxicity experiments should include examinations of both short and long-term effects. One must take into account that real carbon nanomaterials are complex mixtures of carbon forms and metal residues of variable chemistry and particle size, and the toxicity reported may reflect these byproducts/residues/impurities rather than the primary material structure. One more recommendation is not only to focus on the inherent toxicity of nanoparticles, but also consider their possible interactions with existing environmental contaminants.
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Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: April 1, 2011
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- Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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