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Journal of Toxicology
Volume 2012, Article ID 397657, 9 pages
Review Article

Effects of Exposure to Semiconductor Nanoparticles on Aquatic Organisms

1Graduate Program in Molecular Biosciences, Arkansas State University, P.O. Box 837, State University, Jonesboro, AR 72467, USA
2Ecotoxicology Research Facility, Arkansas State University, P.O. Box 847, State University, Jonesboro, AR 72467, USA

Received 13 July 2011; Accepted 1 September 2011

Academic Editor: François Gagné

Copyright © 2012 Kenton Leigh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Because of their unique physical, optical, and mechanical properties, nanomaterials hold great promise in improving on a wide variety of current technologies. Consequently, their use in research and consumer products is increasing rapidly, and contamination of the environment with various nanomaterials seems inevitable. Because surface waters receive pollutants and contaminants from many sources including nanoparticles and act as reservoirs and conduits for many environmental contaminants, understanding the potential impacts of nanoparticles on the organisms within these environments is critical to evaluating their potential toxicity. While there is much to be learned about interactions between nanomaterials and aquatic systems, there have been a number of recent reports of interactions of quantum dots (QDs) with aquatic environments and aquatic organisms. This review is focused on providing a summary of recent work investigating the impacts of quantum dots on aquatic organisms.