In pharmaceutical and personal care products nanoformulations are already used extensively. Applications within the agrochemical sector are only just emerging, but a rapid growth is predicted for the coming years.
Melanie Kah, University of Vienna, Austria, and colleagues review the current state of knowledge on nanopesticides. They give a brief outline of the key definitions and classify the categories of nanopesticides to analyze possible consequences of their environmental fates. Nanoformulations encompass a great variety of products. A differentiation according to the ingredients and the environmental fate is necessary to adequately adpot exposure assessment procedures.
However, the current level of knowledge does not allow a fair assessment of the advantages and disadvantages that will result from the use of some nanopesticides. The development of robust analytical methods for the quantification and characterization of nanopesticides will be required to reduce the uncertainty associated with classically applied protocols. Further research into the environmental fate and how it may evolve with time under realistic agronomic conditions will is necessary to achieve more robust risk assessments.
Current environmental risk assessment procedures are known to be inadequate for nanoparticles. To evaluate nanometals under the REACH regulations is currently being discussed.
This comprehensive analysis provides a useful framework to identify priorities for future research to achieve more robust risk assessments of nanopesticides.
- Nanopesticides: State of Knowledge, Environmental Fate, and Exposure Modeling,
M. Kah , S. Beulke, K. Tiede, T. Hofmann,
Crit. Rew. Environm. Sci Technol. 2013, 43:16, 1823–1867.