Nanotechnology is a rapidly expanding area, and engineered nanomaterials/ nanoparticles (ENPs) are finding applications in a wide range of areas including use in cosmetics, bioremediation and water treatment (e.g., Kamat & Meisel 2003; Savage & Diallo 2005; Aitken et al. 2006). It is therefore inevitable that, during their manufacture and use, ENPs will be released to the environment. NPs may also exist naturally (e.g., Diallo et al. 2005) or be formed in water bodies (e.g., Nagy et al. 2003) or be released to the environment in mine wastes (e.g., Walker et al. 2005). Concerns have therefore been raised over the potential impacts of indirect human exposure to NPs on environmental and human health (e.g., Banfield & Zhang 2001; Biswas & Wu 2005; Boxall et al. 2007).
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