Detection and Quantification of Titanium Dioxide Engineered Nanoparticles in Surface Waters

Where is the Nano? Analytical Approaches for the Detection and Quantification of TiO2 Engineered Nanoparticles in Surface Waters

Gondikas, Andreas et al.
Environmental Science: Nano 2018, 5, 313-326
DOI:10.1039/c7en00952f
 
In this contribution, Gondikas et al. present an analytical approach for identification and quantification of titanium dioxide (TiO2) engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) released from sunscreens into surface water. The study demonstrates that titanium is naturally present in lake water in significant amounts not only as dissolved ions, but also in the form of natural nanoparticles with composition similar to ENPs. This makes tracing small concentrations of titanium dioxide engineered nanoparticles in the environment challenging. The icpTOF was applied in this study for single particle elemental fingerprinting and helped to reveal the following
 
•Ti in natural particles coexist with Al, Fe, Mn, and Pb
•Ti/Mn elemental ratios in individual particles increase during the swimming season
•A significant quantity of relatively pure Ti-containing particles exists also off-swimming season
•Some of the Ti-bearing particles contained Pb that supports the idea of NPs acting as transport vectors for heavy metals
 
The icpTOF provides a distinctive single particle elemental fingerprint and can serve as a useful tool for discriminating ENPs from the natural background.