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Environ Pollut. 2010 Sep;158(9):2900-5. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.06.009. Epub 2010 Jul 10.

Release of silver nanoparticles from outdoor facades.

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  • 1Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Uberlandstrasse 133, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.


In this study we investigate the release of metallic silver nanoparticles (Ag-NP) from paints used for outdoor applications. A facade panel mounted on a model house was exposed to ambient weather conditions over a period of one year. The runoff volume of individual rain events was determined and the silver and titanium concentrations of 36 out of 65 runoff events were measured. Selected samples were prepared for electron microscopic analysis. A strong leaching of the Ag-NP was observed during the initial runoff events with a maximum concentration of 145 micro Ag/l. After a period of one year, more than 30% of the Ag-NP were released to the environment. Particles were mostly <15 nm and are released as composite colloids attached to the organic binders of the paint. Microscopic results indicate that the Ag-NP are likely transformed to considerably less toxic forms such as Ag2S.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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