Nanosized particles (NPs), such as TiO2, Silver, graphene NPs, nanoscale zero-valent iron, carbon nanotubes, etc., are increasingly used in industrial processes, and releases at production plants and from landfills are likely scenarios for the next years. As a consequence, appropriate procedures and tools to quantify the risks for human health associated to these releases are needed. The tiered approach of the standard ASTM procedure (ASTM-E2081-00) is today the most applied for human health risk assessment at sites contaminated by chemical substances, but it cannot be directly applied to nanoparticles: NP transport along migration pathways follows mechanisms significantly different from those of chemicals; moreover, also toxicity indicators (namely, reference dose and slope factor) are NP-specific. In this work a risk assessment approach modified for NPs is proposed, with a specific application at Tier 2 to migration in groundwater. The standard ASTM equations are modified to include NP-specific transport mechanisms. NPs in natural environments are typically characterized by a heterogeneous set of NPs having different size, shape, coating, etc. (all properties having a significant impact on both mobility and toxicity). To take into account this heterogeneity, the proposed approach divides the NP population into classes, each having specific transport and toxicity properties, and simulates them as independent species. The approach is finally applied to a test case simulating the release of heterogeneous Silver NPs from a landfill. The results show that taking into account the size-dependent mobility of the particles provides a more accurate result compared to the direct application of the standard ASTM procedure. In particular, the latter tends to underestimate the overall toxic risk associated to the nP release.
|Titolo:||Human health risk assessment for nanoparticle-contaminated aquifer systems|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.envpol.2018.03.041|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|