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Nanotechnology is a rampant discipline with enormous potential for improving our lifestyle, through also the production of new nano-sized materials. However, not enough time has been still dedicated to estimate the possible risks related to the impact on human health and environment of engineered nanoparticles. From almost one decade, consumer products available on the market are enriched with nano-sized materials to increase their performance.
The project will carry out an inventory of the products containing nanosized particles, available in the market. Products will be bought and analyzed to verify the presence, composition and morphology of nanozied materials.
Furthermore, the project will verify the impact of engineered NPs sprayed in a greenhouse, where a suitable ecosystems will be reproduced. A combustor device will be designed to release nanoparticles in the greenhouse by the incineration processes of nano-products. The uptake of the sprayed and airborne NPs by the ecosystem species will be assessed morphologically by Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy interfaced with an Energy Dispersive X-ray spectrometer.
Dispersed NPs and ashes will be characterized morphologically and chemically in air, in water, on the plants and in soil. Morphological, toxicological, toxicogenomic, epigenetic analyses will be performed on animal and plant species.
Possible ecotoxic effect of NPs will be assessed by comparing the results with the reference species and will be the basis for a risk management.



 

The objectives of the project can be summarized as follows:

  1. Classification of the nanoproducts available in the Italian market and evaluation of nanoscaled structure or NPs content in the final product.
  2. Description of potential interaction between engineered NPs and transformed/secondary nanoparticulate matter deriving from incineration disposal procedures on organisms in the environment.
  3. Setting-up of two combustive devices in order to reproduce realistically the fate of nanoparticles and their release in the environment.
  4. Construction of a greenhouse where the specific ecosystems will be exposure to NPs.
  5. Characterization of engineered and/or secondary NPs derived from combustion processes by Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) equipped with an Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy System (EDS).
  6. Measurements of concentration, size and chemistry of NPs in the green house over the whole period of the tests.
  7. Evaluations of the exposure of plants, bacteria, small organism and fish after NPs dispersion by ESEM-EDS, Inducted Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS).
  8. Eco-nanotoxicological evaluations on the above mentioned ecosystem species through toxicological, epigenetic, genetic, toxicogenomics and developmental analyses.
  9. Generation of data to improve the potential environmental/human health impact of nanoproducts.
  10. Promotion of an interdisciplinary, experimental, integrating and theoretical approach of nanoproducts toward human and animal life and environment.

 

 
 

The data and the results will represent a basic knowledge to promote:

  1. Novel criteria for the prevention and the protection of environmental and human health.
  2. New technological instruments for implementing safety and preventive procedures.
  3. New rules for the governance of the nanoproducts over their whole life cycle.
  4. A guidance for the safe production of nanotechnological devices, food, cosmetics and drugs.
  5. New technological instruments for disposal and waste treatment of nanoparticles-containing products.
  6. Safe use and consumption of foodstuff containing nanoparticles.
  7. The data generated can provide basis for future possible initiatives in the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010 and the Community Strategy on Health and Safety at Work.
 
 
     
 
 
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