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Nanopharmaceuticals (Au-NPs) after use: Experiences with a complex higher tier test design simulating environmental fate and effect

Abstract : The current environmental hazard assessment is based on the testing of the pristine substance. However, it cannot be excluded that (nano)pharmaceuticals are excreted into sewage during the use phase followed by entry into wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Sorption to sewage sludge or release via effluent can result in modified ecotoxicological effects which possibly can only be detected with a modified test approach. The objective of our study was to investigate a realistic exposure scenario for metallic nanoparticles (NPs) in pharmaceutical products, excreted into effluent, and released into the environment after treatment in WWTPs. The test approach was illustrated by using gold (Au) NPs. Effluent from model WWTPs were investigated in aquatic tests (Daphnia magna, fish cell lines). Sewage sludge was used as a sole food source (Eisenia fetida) or mixed with soil and used as test medium (soil microorganisms, Folsomia candida, Enchytraeus crypticus). To cover the aspect of regulation, the test systems described in OECD-test guidelines (OECD TG 201, 211, 220, 232, 249, 317) were applied. Modifications and additional test approaches were included to meet the needs arising out of the testing of nanomaterials and of the exposure scenarios. The results were assessed regarding the suitability of the test design and the toxicity of Au-NPs. Except for activated sludge as a sole food source for E.fetida, the selected test approach is suitable for the testing of nanomaterials. Additional information can be gained when compared to the common testing of the pristine nanomaterials in the standardized test systems. Effects of Au-NPs were observed in concentrations exceeding the modeled environmental.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 2:39:29 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 5:18:33 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 7:36:22 PM


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Kerstin Hund-Rinke, Cecilia Diaz, Anne Jurack, Judith Klein, Burkhard Knopf, et al.. Nanopharmaceuticals (Au-NPs) after use: Experiences with a complex higher tier test design simulating environmental fate and effect. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 2021, 227, pp.112949. ⟨10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112949⟩. ⟨ineris-03461639⟩



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