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Monitoring the Fate and Transformation of Silver Nanoparticles in Natural Waters

Furtado, Lindsay M., Bundschuh, Mirco, Metcalfe, Chris D.
Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2016 v.97 no.4 pp. 449-455
aquatic organisms, atomic absorption spectrometry, chemical speciation, fractionation, monitoring, nanosilver, quantitative analysis, silver, surface water, toxicity
There is potential for silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to be released into surface waters and thus affect aquatic organisms. However, agglomeration, dissolution, surface modifications and chemical speciation are important transformation processes that control the toxicity of AgNPs. Analytical methods are needed to determine the size distribution, mass and form of AgNPs and other silver species in natural waters. Cloud point extraction, single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS) and asymmetric flow field flow fractionation with on-line ICP-MS (AF4-ICP-MS) are analytical techniques that show potential for quantitative analysis of AgNPs in aquatic matrices at environmentally relevant concentrations. In this review, we discuss the fate processes for AgNPs in natural waters and the analytical methods that can be used to determine the distribution of AgNPs and their transformation products.