Toxicity and Bioremoval
Nanotechnology has become one of the fastest growing branches of science that has successfully solved problems in medicine, industry, pharmacy and agriculture. The preparation, characterization and applications have drawn the attention of researchers worldwide to contribute with new ideas and come up with unique new material. However, the same unique characteristics of engineered nanoparticles including small size, ability to cross cell membranes, and toxicity to cancer and microbial cells are indeed the same reasons they are categorized as hazardous pollutants when they finally reach open water systems through excretion into sewers or mishandling and improper disposal. Examples of such pollutants are metal nanoparticles, printer ink nanoparticles, and antineoplastic cyclophosphamides.
Accumulation of mineral-based plastics, including microplastics, is becoming a very a serious global problem. Plastics are widely used, they are produced in millions of tons each year, studies report that only 10% of plastics are recovered and that by 2050, landfills will be filled with an estimate of 12 billion tons of plastic waste. The term microplastics refer to plastic particles of size less than 5 mm, they originate from incomplete degradation of plastics, weathering of plastics in the environment as well as microbeads used for drug delivery process and cosmetic products. Their danger lies in their runoff to marine environment compromising aquatic life, and finding their way to algae and mussels, they get incorporated with sea salt eventually reaching human beings through either the food chain or through direct contact. This in turn leads to cellular toxicity. Moreover, microplastics have been identified as carrying vectors for other pollutants in the environment. Due to their hydrophobic nature, the particles carry chemical pollutants via sorption, and transport them rendering toxicity assessment more complicated.
A quick look at the number of research projects performed over the past five years on the production of such compounds versus their removal, it is clear that manufacturing rather than attention to negative environmental impact has been prioritized. According to a search in Scopus database, the number of “nano”-research focusing on preparation, characterization and applications of nanomaterials over the past two years has reached 25-30K. This number drops to 1000-2000 for the words “nano” AND “removal”, and further drops to 700-800 for “nano” AND “toxicity”. On the other hand, research focusing on microplastics is comparatively very little. A search for the word “microplastics” in the same database results in 300-400 publications while the search for “microplastics” AND “degradation” results in only 35-40 publications in the past couple of years.
Authors are encouraged to submit full research or review articles covering different aspects of mineral-based plastics in the following fields:
• Toxicity of marine life.
• Toxicity to different living cells (microorganisms, plants, animals, humans).
• Bio-removal using microorganisms.
• Biodegradation using enzymes or any other biological materials.
• Fate of micro- and nano-pollutants in the environment.
• Prevention/control of accidental release of micro- and nano-pollutants in the environment.
Journal of Clinical Toxicology
Mail ID: email@example.com
WhatsApp no: + 1-504-608-2390