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Nanopharmaceuticals (Au-NPs) after use: Experiences with a complex higher tier test design simulating environmental fate and effect

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  • Kerstin Hund-Rinke, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
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  • Cecilia Diaz, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
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  • Anne Jurack, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
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  • Judith Klein, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
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  • Burkhard Knopf, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
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  • Karsten Schlich, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
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  • María Luisa Fernández-Cruz, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
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  • David Hernández-Moreno, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
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  • Nicolas Manier, Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques
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  • Pascal Pandard, NERIS, National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks, Parc Technologique ALATA
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  • Susana I.L. Gomes, University of Aveiro
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  • Bruno Guimarães, University of Aveiro
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  • Janeck J. Scott-Fordsmand
  • Mónica J.B. Amorim, University of Aveiro

The current environmental hazard assessment is based on the testing of the pristine substance. However, it cannot be excluded that (nano)pharmaceuticals are excreted into sewage during the use phase followed by entry into wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Sorption to sewage sludge or release via effluent can result in modified ecotoxicological effects which possibly can only be detected with a modified test approach. The objective of our study was to investigate a realistic exposure scenario for metallic nanoparticles (NPs) in pharmaceutical products, excreted into effluent, and released into the environment after treatment in WWTPs. The test approach was illustrated by using gold (Au) NPs. Effluent from model WWTPs were investigated in aquatic tests (Daphnia magna, fish cell lines). Sewage sludge was used as a sole food source (Eisenia fetida) or mixed with soil and used as test medium (soil microorganisms, Folsomia candida, Enchytraeus crypticus). To cover the aspect of regulation, the test systems described in OECD-test guidelines (OECD TG 201, 211, 220, 232, 249, 317) were applied. Modifications and additional test approaches were included to meet the needs arising out of the testing of nanomaterials and of the exposure scenarios. The results were assessed regarding the suitability of the test design and the toxicity of Au-NPs. Except for activated sludge as a sole food source for E.fetida, the selected test approach is suitable for the testing of nanomaterials. Additional information can be gained when compared to the common testing of the pristine nanomaterials in the standardized test systems. Effects of Au-NPs were observed in concentrations exceeding the modeled environmental.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112949
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume227
ISSN0147-6513
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Advanced material, Au nanoparticle, Environmental hazard assessment, Environmental risk, Nanopharmaceutical, Realistic exposure scenario

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