Silicon dioxide is a naturally occurring compound and crystalline silicon dioxide is the major constituent of sand. In case of environmental exposure, it is therefore difficult to distinguish between naturally occurring and technically produced nanoforms of silicon dioxide.


SandDue to the broad spectrum of applications and production volumes, an environmental exposure to silicon dioxide nanoparticle is very probable. However, to date, there only exist predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) of technically produced silicon dioxide nanoparticles (see cross cutting topic - Estimating the occurrence of nanomaterials in the environment).

Based on those theoretical models, industrially produced silica nanoparticles in Europe are most likely to be found in sediments, less in soils, air and water. The predicted concentrations are, however, far below those predicted to be harmful for environmental organisms [1].





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