John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Species Sensitivity Weighted Distribution (Sswd) For Ecological Risk Assessment Of Engineered Nanomaterials: The N‐Tio2 Case Study

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Societal concerns about engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) environmental risks have increased over the last years, but nano ecological risk assessments (RAs) are constrained by significant gaps in basic information on e.g. long term effects and exposures. For this reason we propose an approach for ecological RA of ENMs that can operate in context of high uncertainty. It further develops the Species Sensitivity Weighted Distribution (SSWD) approach by including three weighting criteria (i.e. species relevance, trophic level abundance and nanotoxicity data quality) to address nano‐specific needs (n‐SSWD). Application of n‐SSWD is illustrated for nanoscale titanium dioxide (n‐TiO2), available in different crystal forms, which was selected for its widespread use in consumer products (e.g. cosmetics) and ample availability of data from ecotoxicological studies in the literature (including endpoints for algae, invertebrates, bacteria, and vertebrates in freshwater, saltwater and terrestrial compartments). The n‐SSWD application resulted in estimation of environmental quality criteria (Hazard Concentration affecting 5% and 50% of the species) and ecological risk (Potentially Affected Fraction of species), which were then compared to similar results from applying the traditional SSD approach to the same dataset. n‐SSWDs were also built for specific trophic levels (e.g. primary producers) and taxonomic groups (e.g. algae), which helped to identify the most sensitive organisms. These results proved n‐SSWD as a valuable risk tool, although further testing is suggested. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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