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Keywords:

  • Nanomaterials;
  • Single-walled carbon nanotubes;
  • Multiwalled carbon nanotubes;
  • Daphnia magna;
  • Fullerenes

Abstract

The recent emergence of manufactured nanoparticles (NPs) that are released into the environment and lead to exposure in organisms has accelerated the need to determine NP toxicity. Techniques for measuring the toxicity of NPs (nanotoxicology) in ecological receptors (nanoecotoxicology) are in their infancy, however, and establishing standardized ecotoxicity tests for NPs are presently limited by several factors. These factors include the extent of NP characterization necessary (or possible) before, during, and after toxicity tests such that toxic effects can be related to physicochemical characteristics of NPs; determining uptake and distribution of NPs within exposed organisms (does uptake occur or are effects exerted at organism surfaces?); and determining the appropriate types of controls to incorporate into ecotoxicity tests with NPs. In this review, the authors focus on the important elements of measuring the ecotoxicity of carbon NPs (CNPs) and make recommendations for ecotoxicology testing that should enable more rigorous interpretations of collected data and interlaboratory comparisons. This review is intended to serve as a next step toward developing standardized tests that can be incorporated into a regulatory framework for CNPs. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012;31:60–72. © 2011 SETAC