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Issue 2, 2019
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Transformation of silver nanoparticle consumer products during simulated usage and disposal

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Abstract

Twenty-two silver nanoparticle (AgNP) consumer products (CPs) were analyzed with respect to their silver speciation. Three CPs and three lab-synthesized particles were selected to simulate environmental fate and transport by simulating their intended usage and disposal methods. Since many of these products are meant for ingestion, we simulated their usage by exposing them to human synthetic stomach fluid followed by exposure to wastewater sludge. We found that during the products' individual exposure to wastewater sludge, the conversion rate of silver to AgCl and Ag2S was affected by both the amount of silver ion present and the properties of the AgNP. The rates of conversion of metallic silver to silver sulfide was heavily dependent on the particle size for the lab-synthesized particles, with 90 nm PVP-capped particles reacting to a much lesser extent than the 15 nm PVP-capped or the citrate-capped particles. We observed similar sulfidation rates on two of the tested CPs with the 15 nm lab-synthesized particles despite containing silver nanoparticles >5 times larger, indicating the presence of other influencing factors. Pre-treatment with synthetic stomach fluid modified the rates of Ag2S formation. Due to the variable composition of CPs and the conditions they are exposed to between manufacture, sale, use, and disposal, their final composition may be somewhat unpredictable in the environment. In the present study, we have achieved a more accurate approximation of the expected interactions between silver nanoparticle-containing CPs and environmental media by utilizing real CPs and evaluating them with solid phase and aqueous phase analytical techniques.

Graphical abstract: Transformation of silver nanoparticle consumer products during simulated usage and disposal

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Aug 2018, accepted on 11 Jan 2019 and first published on 12 Jan 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00958A
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2019,6, 592-598

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    Transformation of silver nanoparticle consumer products during simulated usage and disposal

    P. M. Potter, J. Navratilova, K. R. Rogers and S. R. Al-Abed, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2019, 6, 592
    DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00958A

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