The State of the Science: Environmental Risks
This chapter focuses on identifying some of the key concerns and recent findings about the behaviors of nanomaterials entering the environment. Even in the built environment, reliance on water, air, and natural resources is the basis of the high quality of life people aim to enjoy in modern society. Nonselective killing of microbes can be harmful to health and the environment. Environmental chemistry is complex and varies greatly. In a saltwater environment, there will be a lot of mineral ions, including chlorides. One common measure of effects of substances on the environment is evaluating their toxicity to organisms in water. The fate of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in soils and water environments will depend on the surface chemistry of the CNTs, the presence of ions and molecules, and factors such as the rate of flow and concentration that affect the ability of CNTs to bind other molecules, including other CNTs, and particles.