Increasing use of nanomaterials has unknown environmental consequences

Nanomaterials like silver, titanium, silica, and platinum can be found in your food, clothes, cleaning supplies, and body care products. Many of these items still subsist in the environment even long after you've thrown them out. However, researchers don't know how much and how long the nanomaterials survive in environments like fragile ecosystems.

Fortunately, Senior Sustainability Scientist Paul Westerhoff is leading a team of chemistry and engineering faculty for a National Science Foundation-funded project that will locate and measure nanomaterials in the environment.

The research will be conducted as part of ASU’s Sustainable Water Initiative. Findings from the research will be shared with ASU's Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research program that studies urban ecosystems.