Hello! My name is Julia, and I am from Sydney, Australia. I am in my first year of university and I am passionate about utilising science and communication as tools to encourage innovation and sustainable changes in our lives. I have travelled to present my research to global communities of students, and advocate strongly for young people — particularly women — to become involved in STEM.Tell us what the water concern in your country is!
The poor regulation of the environmental pollutant nanosilver in Australia is concerning. Due to gaps in environmental legislation, while there is a threshold level of toxicity for macro forms of silver, there is not a separate threshold level for nanosilver, despite the abundant scientific literature indicating nanosilver is more toxic.This is what I think is one of the solutions for a sustainable future:
Being aware of the impact of the materials we use in consumer goods and industry on the environment is a critical solution, as if we are conscious of these effects, we can effectively manage and regulate these materials to ensure it does not pose a risk to ecosystems.
Why Silver Might Not Be Gold in Water
Have you ever brushed your teeth? Washed your hair? Then you have been in contact with nanosilver! Nanosilver – tiny particles of silver – have a detrimental impact on our environment when it is released into waterways. To address this, a safe level for nanosilver in the environment was found using the aquatic organism Daphnia magna. By studying the population and heart rates of Daphnia magna in varying concentrations of nanosilver, a level at which nanosilver does not pose a toxicity risk was discovered! This level was 0.26–0.50 milligrams per litre (mg/L), and exceeding this value would cause toxicity in Daphnia magna, as well as other aquatic organisms