Special ES&T issue examines effects of emerging contaminants on people, planet

t the potential risk these nanoparticles pose to human health and the environment, the researchers say.

A buckyball is a spherical fullerene - a soccer ball-shaped molecule comprised of 60 carbon atoms. Buckyballs have been touted for their potential applications in everything from drug delivery to energy transmission. But recent studies have shown that when buckyballs combine into nano-sized clumps known as nC60, they can promote cellular damage. This new study goes a step further, demonstrating "a strong correlation between the presence of nC60 and DNA damage" to human lymphocytes, the researchers conclude. The study is the first to assess the genotoxicity of nC60 mixed into water. Water is a likely pathway for future human exposure to buckyballs and other nanoparticles, Tarabara says.

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PBDEs accumulate in Great Lake trout at extraordinary rate

PBDE ( polybrominated diphenyl ether) flame retardants amass in the top predator fish in the Great Lakes to the same extent as PCBs, a potentially harmful group of compounds banned 30 years ago, according to Deborah Swackhamer, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Minnesota. The study is the first to measure PBDEs in water and the extent that these compounds bioaccumulate in an aquatic food chain. The researchers concluded certain PBDE levels found in lake trout were 10 million times higher than in the surrounding water. Swackhamer estimates that a person eating one lake trout fillet would consume more PBDEs than from a lifetime of drinking Lake Michigan water. The finding could help explain why human PBDE levels in North American

Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

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