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Petersen E.J.,U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology | Flores-Cervantes D.X.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Bucheli T.D.,Institute of Sustainability science ISS | Elliott L.C.C.,U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology | And 11 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2016

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have numerous exciting potential applications and some that have reached commercialization. As such, quantitative measurements of CNTs in key environmental matrices (water, soil, sediment, and biological tissues) are needed to address concerns about their potential environmental and human health risks and to inform application development. However, standard methods for CNT quantification are not yet available. We systematically and critically review each component of the current methods for CNT quantification including CNT extraction approaches, potential biases, limits of detection, and potential for standardization. This review reveals that many of the techniques with the lowest detection limits require uncommon equipment or expertise, and thus, they are not frequently accessible. Additionally, changes to the CNTs (e.g., agglomeration) after environmental release and matrix effects can cause biases for many of the techniques, and biasing factors vary among the techniques. Five case studies are provided to illustrate how to use this information to inform responses to real-world scenarios such as monitoring potential CNT discharge into a river or ecotoxicity testing by a testing laboratory. Overall, substantial progress has been made in improving CNT quantification during the past ten years, but additional work is needed for standardization, development of extraction techniques from complex matrices, and multimethod comparisons of standard samples to reveal the comparability of techniques. © 2016 American Chemical Society. Source


Bassin S.,Institute of Sustainability science ISS | Bassin S.,Climate Air Pollution Group | Kach D.,Institute of Sustainability science ISS | Valsangiacomo A.,Institute of Sustainability science ISS | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2015

In a free-air fumigation experiment with subalpine grassland, we studied long-term effects of elevated ozone (O3) and nitrogen (N) deposition on ecosystem N pools and on the fate of anthropogenic N. At three times during the seventh year of exposure, N pools and recovery of a stable isotope tracer (15N) were determined in above- and belowground plant parts, and in the soil. Plants were much better competitors for 15N than soil microorganisms. Plant N pools increased by 30-40% after N addition, while soil pools remained unaffected, suggesting that most of the extra N was taken up and stored in plant biomass, thus preventing the ecosystem from acquiring characteristics of eutrophication. Elevated O3 caused an increase of N in microbial biomass and in stabilized soil N, probably resulting from increased litter input and lower litter quality. Different from individual effects, the interaction between the pollutants remained partly unexplained © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.. Source

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