The rapidly emerging field of nanomaterials for the industrial production of diverse products, from medical therapeutics to ground-water remediation tools, has created the potential for the broad distribution of nanomaterials across the United States including the State of Washington. In the State of Washington, carbon-based nanomaterials are widely used in automobiles, electronics, and aviation industry, all of which are likely to release these emerging pollutants into the surface water via industrial effluent. Graphene family nanomaterials are the most common class of carbon-based nanomaterials in the fields of electronics, medicine, and energy, and are used also in environmental applications. The structure of graphene is very similar to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are commonly found pollutants and serious concerns in surface waters in Washington State. Since many industries in the State of Washington are using graphene-based nanomaterials, degradation of these materials may increase the load of toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the surface waters of Washington State. Therefore, understanding the degradation of graphene-based nanomaterials in surface waters is essential for protecting aquatic life and public health.
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