The effects of multi-walled carbon nanotube exposure on soil organisms
Martin, William J.
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With the rapid proliferation of carbon nanotube technologies and consumer products comes a need to research the toxicological and ecotoxicological effects of these materials. This research attempted to develop a baseline knowledge of the effects of bulk, unmodified multi-walled carbon nanotubes on commonly studied soil toxicology test organisms: earthworms, springtails, and agricultural plants. In order to minimize confounding factors in the study, a slurry composed of bulk multi-walled carbon nanotubes, silica sand, and water was used to amend test soil without the use of surfactants or functionalization. Analysis of data produced by these experiments showed no significant trends resulting from the exposure of the test organisms to artificial soil amended by the multi- walled carbon nanotube slurry. It was observed, however that carbon nanotubes accumulated in the gut of the earthworm Eisenia andrei and were expelled as castings in the test soil.