CEINT Seminar

"Interactions Between Engineered Nanomaterials and Agricultural Crops", Dr. Jason White, Vice Director and Chief Scientists, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 - 12:00pm

Although nanomaterials (NM) use has increased dramatically, the risks posed to humans and the environment have been investigated only recently. The interaction between NM and crop species is an area of particular concern; two USDA-funded projects are supporting investigations into NM fate and effects in agricultural systems. Recent work has focused on two specific topics; the first involves the impact of NM exposure on the fate of organic co-contaminants. The effect of fullerenes, multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) or NP Ag on co-contaminant (DDE, chlordane) toxicity and accumulation by several crops was determined; select data from recent soil-based studies will be presented. A second topic of current investigation is focusing on the trophic transfer of NM within agricultural systems. Three initial experiments involving NP CeO2 or La2O3 will be presented. Here, bulk or NP CeO2 or La2O3were added to soil (1000 mg/Kg) that was subsequently planted with zucchini or lettuce. At harvest, plant element content was determined in all tissues by ICP-MS but select leaves were fed to crickets for 14-21 days. Cricket tissues and feces were then digested for ICP-MS analysis or were fed to predatory mantids and wolf spiders, which were also analyzed by ICP-MS. Lastly, the implications of this work for accurately determining NM fate and transport of in agricultural systems, as well as for exposure and risk posed to humans, will be discussed.