Characterization of the effluent from a nanosilver producing washing machine.
Journal article, 2011
The increasing number of nanomaterial based consumer products raises concerns about their possible impact on the environment. This study provides an assessment of the effluent from a commercially available silver nanowashing machine. The washing machine released silver in its effluent at an average concentration of 11μgL(-1), as determined by inductive coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The presence of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was confirmed by single particle ICP-MS as well as ion selective electrode measurements and filtration techniques. Size measurements showed particles to be in the defined nanosize range, with an average size of 10nm measured with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 60-100nm determined with nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). The effluent was shown to have negative effects on a natural bacterial community as its abundance was clearly reduced when exposed to the nanowash water. If washing machines capable of producing AgNPs become a common feature of households in the future, wastewater will contain significant loadings of AgNPs which might be released into the environment.