Kiril Hristovski and Paul Westerhoff have won the Journal of Environmental Quality Best Paper Award for 2015. It recognizes their research paper, “The Release of Nanosilver from Consumer Products Used in the Home,” as one of the most outstanding published in the journal in the past five years.
Hristovski is an associate professor of engineering and environmental and resource management in the Polytechnic School. Westerhoff is a professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.
The journal’s chief editor and its technical editors selected their paper for the award based on how it has advanced knowledge in environmental science, the effectiveness of communication, the paper’s originality and its impact.
The measure of its impact was based on the number of times it has been cited in research papers by other scientists and engineers in the field, and by the number of times readers have downloaded the article.
Since its original publication in 2010, the number of citations the paper has received places it in the top one percent of papers cited in its field for its publication year, according to the Web of Science, the leading scientific citation search and indexing service.
The paper focuses on methodologies that can be used to quantify and characterize silver and other nanomaterials in consumer products. It explores the potential for nano-silver release from nano-enabled commercial products and their fate and transport into the environment.
Hristovski and Westerhoff provide experimental data that can be used to estimate real-world human and environmental exposure levels to nano-silver.
“The study demonstrates that silver could be released from commercial products in both ionic and nano/colloidal form,” Hristovski said. “The released silver concentrations are directly dependent on the type of commercial products and their nano-siver contents, but generally do not exceed any existing regulatory limits such as the characteristic hazardous waste limit for toxicity as stipulated by the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.”
The authors said their findings could be useful in guiding policy makers and consumers, and serve as a starting point for devising strategies to help industries develop and manufacture nano-enabled products that will pose fewer potential environmental and human health risks.
The paper’s co-authors are:
• Troy Benn, who recently earned a civil and environmental engineering doctoral degree at ASU and now is a hydrologist with Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
• Jonathon Posner, an associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Washington
• Bridget Cavanaugh, who earned a civil and environmental engineering doctoral degree at ASU and now works for XDD Environmental, and environmental engineering company in Massachusetts