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Nanoparticle Fate Assessment and Toxicity in the Environment (NanoFATE)
Start date: Apr 1, 2010, End date: Mar 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Concept: NanoFATE has been conceived to fill knowledge and methodological gaps currently impeding sound assessment of environmental risks posed by engineered nanoparticles (ENPs). Our vision is to assess environmental fate and risk of ENPs from high-volume products for which recycling is not an option; namely; fuel additive, personal care and antibacterial products. Two market ENPs from each product (CeO2, ZnO, Ag of varying size, surface and core chemistries) will be followed through their post-production life cycles i.e. from environmental entry as “spent product”, through waste treatment to their final fates and potential toxic effects. This will test the applicability of current fate and risk assessment methods and identify improvements required for a scientific assessment of ENPs at an early stage. Objectives: Such systematic study of the environmental fate and toxicity of selected ENPs will entail addressing 9 S&T objectives: 1: Design, tagging and manufacture of ENPs 2: Analysis of ENP interactions with abiotic and biotic entities 3: Generating predictive models for ENP exposure in waters and sludge-amended soils 4: Studying the fate and behaviour of ENPs through wastewater treatment 5: Determining acute and chronic ecotoxicity 6: Assessing effects of physico-chemical properties on ENP bioavailability 7: Defining mechanisms of uptake, internal trafficking, and toxicity 8: Developing spatial RA model(s) 9: Improving understanding of ENP risks Methodology: The work plan is designed to progress beyond the state-of-the-art through focused workpackages. While some objectives are delivered in single WPs, good cross WP integration will secure the key objectives of delivering new methods for quantifying ENP risks. Impact: NanoFATE will provide robust tools, techniques and knowledge needed by stakeholders to understand and communicate risks associated with different ENPs, including their environmental interactions and toxicity.

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