This recently published article from Jing-Fu Liu et al. takes a critical view of the current investigations into the effects that silver nanoparticles have on the environment. It was published in January’s themed issue on Anthropogenic nanoparticles in the environment.
Appropriate sampling, separation and analytical methods are vital, particularly for analysis of silver nanoparticles in complex environmental samples. This review covers:
- A brief history of silver colloids in the environment
- Beneficial properties versus environmental concerns
- Analytical techniques, including combinations of different methods, and the different sample sources, such as aerosols and soil
- Factors and processes influencing fate and transport of AgNPs
- Environmental transformation
- Toxicity of silver nanoparticles and different silver species
Each of the above mentioned topics are interesting in themselves, but this article pulls the information together to give one wide perspective of the flow of silver nanoparticles through our environment and ways we can detect and analyse their effects. It highlights how much is still unknown and how complex such investigation will continue to be.
Silver nanoparticles in the environment
Su-juan Yu, Yong-guang Yin and Jing-fu Liu