Effects of Nanoparticles on Plants, Earthworms, and Microorganisms
The synthesis of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) has increased in recent years because novel and unexpected properties and applications have been found to such a degree that hundreds of scientists have published concerns and evidence regarding the toxicology of ENMs. However, most of the reported findings have been inconsistent, so more research is needed, but also long-term in situ field trials are required, while the standardization of tests, chemical reagents, and methodologies must be strengthened and regulated in accordance with scientific advice or international organizations. This chapter discusses new findings published during the last 5 years regarding the advantages and disadvantages of ENMs, as well as findings obtained in our laboratories and greenhouse. We found that ENMs have favorable effects on some crops and biological systems. Consequently, ENMs have potential industrial applications in the agricultural sector, with biological, environmental, and ecological advantages. Nevertheless, the effects of ENMs depend on the kind of ENM, exposition period, concentration, substrate or soil type, kind and age of organisms, biotic and abiotic interactions, etc.; i.e., a specific test has to be carried out for each particular condition, and generalizations regarding the effects of ENMs should be avoided, otherwise human and environmental health—but also sustainable development—will be compromised.
KeywordsEngineered nanomaterials Human and environmental health Sustainable development
This research was funded by Ciencia Básica SEP-CONACYT project numbers 151881 and 287225, the Sustainability of Natural Resources and Energy Programs (Cinvestav-Saltillo), and Cinvestav-Zacatenco. G.M.-P., H.P.-H., G.S.-H., and A.Z.-C. received grant-aided support from Becas CONACYT. F.F.-L., R.G.C.-M., F.L.-V., E.V.-N., and S.L.-S. received grant-aided support from Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (SNI), Mexico.
Competing interests The authors declare that they have not competing interests.
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