Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Super-strong, high-tech material found to be toxic to aquatic animals

Date:
August 22, 2012
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have potential uses in everything from medicine to electronics to construction. However, CNTs are not without risks. A new study found that they can be toxic to aquatic animals. The researchers urge that care be taken to prevent the release of CNTs into the environment as the materials enter mass production.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are some of the strongest materials on Earth and are used to strengthen composite materials, such as those used in high-performance tennis rackets. CNTs have potential uses in everything from medicine to electronics to construction. However, CNTs are not without risks. A joint study by the University of Missouri and United States Geological Survey found that they can be toxic to aquatic animals. The researchers urge that care be taken to prevent the release of CNTs into the environment as the materials enter mass production.

Related Articles


"The great promise of carbon nanotubes must be balanced with caution and preparation," said Baolin Deng, professor and chair of chemical engineering at the University of Missouri. "We don't know enough about their effects on the environment and human health. The EPA and other regulatory groups need more studies like ours to provide information on the safety of CNTs."

CNTs are microscopically thin cylinders of carbon atoms that can be hundreds of millions of times longer than they are wide, but they are not pure carbon. Nickel, chromium and other metals used in the manufacturing process can remain as impurities. Deng and his colleagues found that these metals and the CNTs themselves can reduce the growth rates or even kill some species of aquatic organisms. The four species used in the experiment were mussels (Villosa iris), small flies' larvae (Chironomus dilutus), worms (Lumbriculus variegatus) and crustaceans (Hyalella azteca).

"One of the greatest possibilities of contamination of the environment by CNTs comes during the manufacture of composite materials," said Hao Li, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at MU. "Good waste management and handling procedures can minimize this risk. Also, to control long-term risks, we need to understand what happens when these composite materials break down."

The study on CNTs toxicity to aquatic animals was a collaboration between engineering faculty and students at MU and U.S. Geological Survey researchers led by Christopher Ingersoll. The first author of the study, Joseph Mwangi, came to the project via a minority student fellowship. The EPA funded the research with a $400,000 grant. The results were published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Baolin Deng is C.W. LaPierre Professor of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph N. Mwangi, Ning Wang, Christopher G. Ingersoll, Doug K. Hardesty, Eric L. Brunson, Hao Li, Baolin Deng. Toxicity of carbon nanotubes to freshwater aquatic invertebrates. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2012; 31 (8): 1823 DOI: 10.1002/etc.1888

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Super-strong, high-tech material found to be toxic to aquatic animals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822131220.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2012, August 22). Super-strong, high-tech material found to be toxic to aquatic animals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822131220.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Super-strong, high-tech material found to be toxic to aquatic animals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822131220.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) A holodeck is no longer the preserve of TV sci-fi classic Star Trek, thanks to researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine Zurich, who have created what they say is the first system in the world to visualise the 3D data of forensic scans. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) A solar-powered plane made a third successful test flight in the United Arab Emirates on Monday ahead of a planned round-the-world tour to promote alternative energy. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electric Hydrofoiling Watercraft Delivers Eco-Friendly Thrills

Electric Hydrofoiling Watercraft Delivers Eco-Friendly Thrills

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) The Quadrofoil is a high-tech electric personal watercraft that its makers call a &apos;sports car for the water&apos;. When it hits 10 km/h, the Slovenian-engineered Quadrofoil is lifted above the water onto four wing-like hydrofoils where it &apos;flies&apos; above the surface with minimal water resistance. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) This year, mobile payments might finally catch on. Here are the things you need to know to stay on top of the latest developments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins