How should gold nanoparticles be disposed of?

Cross-cutting issues

Find out more about various cross-cutting issues relating to new, innovative materials and nanomaterials.

Fiber dust


Again and again there are headlines in newspapers or on the Internet that nanomaterials act like asbestos and cause a rare cancer (so-called mesothelioma). What is it about these messages? How do these come about and do we really have to worry about them? The asbestos problem To answer these questions, we must first know how [...]

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Granular bio-persistent dusts


In Germany alone there are more than 6 million jobs with a certain amount of dust. For this reason, the regulations for affected workplaces and the corresponding limit values ​​are constantly being adapted to new research results, because dust is harmful to the lungs. The dust does not have to contain any toxic substances; it is sufficient to load the lungs with biopersistent [...]

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Identification of chemicals and additives


The identification numbers E number, CI number and CAS number described here identify ingredients in commercial products. In food technology, the E number is used, with the help of which permitted food additives are indicated on the packaging of food. Additives in cosmetics are labeled with INCI names (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) or alternatively with a CI number (color index, [...]

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Nanoplastics in the Environment


Plastic is ubiquitous as a packaging material or as part of many products in our daily life. Due to the steadily increasing global plastic production, plastics can be found everywhere in the environment today. It is estimated that between four and twelve million tons of plastic enter the seas and oceans annually [1]. Plastic particles that are specifically manufactured are called [...]

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Nanomaterials in the sewage treatment plant


Technically manufactured nanomaterials can be released from products during their use and disposal and can find their way into wastewater in varying amounts. The task of sewage treatment plants is to clean polluted wastewater, i.e. also to remove nanomaterials from the water. Depending on the clarification steps, different types of nanoparticles are separated. How do nanomaterials get into wastewater? Nanomaterials [...]

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Nanomaterials in pesticides


Pesticides or pesticides are designed to protect plants from pests such as insects, microorganisms or vermin such as nematodes. The use of nanomaterials offers some advantages here, such as an increased effectiveness of an existing pesticide against pests, so that only small amounts of the pesticide are required. However, such products are not currently on the market and will [...]

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Nanomaterials and Pollinating Insects


Pollinating insects such as bees and bumblebees can come into contact with nanomaterials through aerosols, through pollen from plants or through water. There is also the possibility that bees are directly exposed to nanomaterials by beekeepers. There is concern that pollinating insects are at risk from exposure to nanomaterials. Decline in pollinating insects Pollinators are [...]

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Conversion of nanomaterials in the environment


After their release, innovative materials or nanomaterials are not only distributed in the air, in the soil or in the water (see Basics How are innovative materials (e.g. nanomaterials) transported after their release?), But can also change, ie they are subject to change Transformation processes (so-called transformation). These are processes in which the materials interact with the environment [...]

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Estimate the occurrence of nanomaterials in the environment


For a risk assessment of nanomaterials of nanoparticles in the environment, information on exposure, i.e. the quantities of nanomaterials found in the environment, is essential. In contrast to many known pollutants, the concentrations of nanomaterials in the environment cannot yet be measured directly. The approach of exposure modeling provides a remedy here in order to determine the environmental exposure [...]

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Detect nanomaterials in the environment


Engineered nanomaterials are intentionally and unintentionally released into the environment, which poses a potential risk to ecosystems. With the targeted use of nanomaterials as remedial agents, harmful chemicals can be effectively removed from the soil and groundwater. On the other hand, nanomaterials are unintentionally released into the environment through the disposal of products containing nanomaterials or sewage treatment plants. Concentration, size, shape [...]

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In vitro tests in the service of nanosafety


In vitro tests are used in many areas of the life sciences because they can usually be carried out quickly and relatively inexpensively. It is understood to mean the investigation of biological processes outside of an organism. They are mainly used in the development of drugs. But in addition to all its advantages, its usability and expressiveness, especially in nanosafety, [...]

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Nanomaterials in food packaging


Packaging is essential for the distribution and storage of food. Packaging materials consist of paper, glass, metal or plastic. Different packaging materials are often combined to ensure better protection. Packaging protects against pathogens, offers a mechanical barrier for gases or moisture (to prolong freshness) and enables more efficient storage (cubic packaging can be [...]

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Nanomaterials in food


Certain nanomaterials can also be used in food for various purposes. In the form of approved food additives, they change properties such as the taste, appearance or shelf life of the food. They also serve to encapsulate important trace substances, which make them more stable and can be better absorbed by humans. Currently, however, nanomaterials mostly only come into our [...] as by-products.

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Nanomaterials in the waste


Almost every day new products come onto the market that contain nanomaterials and can be used in a variety of ways. As a result, the number of products containing nanomaterials that reach the end of their life cycle and have to be disposed of is also increasing. Nano-waste in solid or liquid form is currently treated like normal waste and can be disposed of via the existing waste management system [...]

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toner


Toners are the colorants that are mainly used in copiers and laser printers. These are very fine powders, which are composed of approx. 2-30 micrometers large particles. The small particle size makes the powder behave like a liquid. During maintenance work when the device is idle, when toner cartridges are replaced or [...]

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Nanoparticles in textiles


The textile industry, one of the most important sectors for consumer goods worldwide, produces textiles for clothing, household goods, home textiles and also technical applications. As with other chemical processes and technologies, nanomaterials are also used here to improve or add new functionalities to textiles. However, new ingredients could also have negative effects on people or the environment [...]

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Nanoparticles in colors


Paints are considered here as liquids that are applied to a solid surface for protection, sealing, or coloring. Color pigments, which are usually contained as small particles, are an important part of this. Nowadays, nanomaterials can improve the properties of colors and create new functionalities. Some of these products are already on the market. Current studies have shown [...]

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Risk analysis of nanomaterials


Risk analysis is broadly defined as a multi-step process that includes risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication, risk management and policy related to risk. The risk can affect both individuals and public or private organizations as well as society as a whole on a local, regional, national or global level [1]. In general, the term "risk" refers to the potential loss of [...]

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Risk assessment of nanomaterials


Risk is defined differently depending on the (scientific) subject. In general, the term "risk" refers to the potential loss of something that has value, such as health, an intact environment or, to put it simply, one's own wallet. There is only a risk when a hazard and exposure coexist. In toxicology, the [...]

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Risk management of nanomaterials


An acceptable risk for new nanomaterials is defined on the basis of a social consensus and political decisions based on a scientifically sound risk assessment. Measures designed to reduce or prevent risks are part of amended or new laws and regulations that are at the end of a sophisticated process - risk management. During and at the end of this [...]

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Iron-sugar nanoparticles against iron deficiency


The application of metallic nanoparticles is being extensively investigated for various nanomedicines. They offer the opportunity to develop both new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. One of the first of these nanomedicine products was iron-based nanoparticles against iron deficiency. Intravenous iron-sugar nanoparticles for the treatment of iron deficiency Iron deficiency can have many causes, be it a disorder of the iron metabolism, malnutrition or [...]

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Nanomaterials in medical devices


Medical products are an integral part of our health sector and represent an enormous market. Their applications range from medical devices to diagnostic options including software to implants, syringes and mechanical contraceptives. Since the compatibility of the products must be guaranteed when used on and in the human body, nanotechnology, for example, offers changes in the [...]

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Nanomedicine


Nanomaterials are considered to be important bearers of hope for innovative treatment methods for a wide range of diseases. Medicine is already making use of nanomaterials for drugs, diagnostics and implants. Intensive research is being carried out into other ways of using nanomaterials in the health sector, an area that is now making headlines as “nanomedicine”. What is already available here and which new drugs can [...]

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Nanobots - Reality or Fantasy?


For centuries, human imagination has been inspired by technical developments. Not only Jules Verne (1828-1905) anticipated many technical innovations in his novels, the technical possibilities have also recently inspired the science fiction genre, especially nanotechnology. When the physicist and Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman gave his famous lecture (link to PDF) on matter [...]

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Training for nanotechnology


Nanotechnology is a job market with a future, as this branch of industry is growing rapidly internationally. In 2013 around 1,100 companies in Germany were involved in the use of nanotechnology in the areas of research and development as well as the marketing of commercial products and services [1]. The development and manufacture of nanomaterials is only part of the overall picture. In many branches of industry [...]

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Coating forms of nanomaterials


When surface coatings for nanomaterials are mentioned, terms such as modification, coating, functionalization or stabilization are also mentioned. This diversity reflects the different motivations for a coating or its function. In general, surface coatings for nanomaterials are used to specifically change or influence certain particle properties. A wide variety of materials are used in complete or incomplete, one or [...]

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Crystal structures of nanomaterials


Atoms can arrange themselves in lattice structures in different ways, depending on external conditions such as temperature or pressure. There can therefore be different crystal structures for some materials with the same proportions of elements they contain. Nanomaterials with different crystal structures can differ in important physico-chemical properties (e.g. reactivity or photocatalytic activity). Therefore, in such [...]

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