Abstract

Metal nanomaterials (MNMs) have been released into the environment during their usage in various products, and their environmental behaviors directly impact their toxicity. Numerous environmental factors potentially affect the behaviors and toxicity of MNMs with dissolved organic matter (DOM) playing the most essential role. Abundant facts showing contradictory results about the effects of DOM on MNMs, herein the occurrence of DOM on the environmental process change of MNMs such as dissolution, dispersion, aggregation, and surface transformation were summarized. We also reviewed the effects of MNMs on organisms and their mechanisms in the environment such as acute toxicity, oxidative stress, oxidative damage, growth inhibition, photosynthesis, reproductive toxicity, and malformation. The presence of DOM had the potential to reduce or enhance the toxicity of MNMs by altering the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, dissolution, stability, and electrostatic repulsion of MNMs. Furthermore, we summarized the factors that affected different toxicity including specific organisms, DOM concentration, DOM types, light conditions, detection time, and production methods of MNMs. However, the more detailed mechanism of interaction between DOM and MNMs needs further investigation.

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