Over the last decade, engineered nanomaterials (NMs) brought a revolutionary development in many sectors of human life including electronics, paints, textiles, food, agriculture, and health care. However, the exponential growth in the number of NMs applications resulted in uncertainties regarding their environmental impacts. Environmental hazard assessment in the terrestrial media can be performed using a suite of tests as standardized by OECD and ISO. In accordance with the 3R principle (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement), the use of lower organism in the initial screening is recommended to replace and/or reduce the use of vertebrates test species. Invertebrate species, such as Enchytraeids (Oligochaeta), are abundant soil organisms and play a major role in the decomposition of soil organic matter and nutrient cycling being one of the main standard invertebrates used in batteries of soil ecotoxicological tests. In order to understand how some one of the most widely used NMs (carbon-based NMs) may impact soil invertebrates, we are applying for a five months scholarship to be spent in a laboratory with expertise in the standard soil species Enchytraeus albidus and Enchytraeus crypticus. These animals have a shorter life cycle, can be easily monitored over time with lower laboratory costs, and are useful to address several ecotoxicological endpoints.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: