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Posted: Jun 29, 2017
Researchers verify the developmental toxicity of graphene oxide at trace concentrations
(Nanowerk News) The environmental and health risks of graphene oxide (GO) attract
considerable attention because of its wide-ranging applications in various field.
GO, an extensively studied carbon nanomaterial with single- or few-layer nanosheet morphology (read more: What is graphene?), shows tremendous potential applications in various fields, including the chemical industry, healthcare, electronic devices and environmental protection.
Worldwide production and application of GO and GO-based materials will gradually but inevitably promote the release of GO into the environment.
Investigations on the effect of GO on aquatic organisms are critical while GO is being released into the environment.
Some studies have found that GO exhibited high toxicity to marine and freshwater algae, damaged organelles, enhanced ROS generation, induced nutrition depletion, and reduced photosynthetic pigment concentrations.
GO was also found to penetrate the chorion and reach the zebrafish embryo, thus affecting zebrafish embryo development and causing DNA damage.
In general, the estimated environmentally relevant concentrations (ERCs) of engineered nanomaterials in environmental media are at parts per billion (µg/L) or parts per trillion (ng/L) levels.
The specific mechanisms were elucidated by transcriptomics and metabolomics assays. Consequently, government administrators and nanomaterial producers should consider the potential risks of trace GO to aquatic organisms and human health.