Environmental toxicology (also known as entox) is a relatively new and growing discipline that emerged out of the necessity to study the impact of manmade pollutants and chemicals on our fragile ecosystem. Sources of toxicants can be organic or inorganic pollutants, pesticides and other biological agents that become present in our food, soil, air, water and other living organisms.
As nanoparticles and their many different functions become more widely accepted in the world today, the effects of these particles on the environment must be closely safeguarded. Common home products that contain nanoparticles are things like laundry detergent, toothpaste, kitchen cutlery, sunscreen, batteries, cosmetics, water filters, bicycles and the list goes on. Common nanoparticles in household products usually consist of: Silver nanoparticles (because of their antimicrobial properties and power to kill unwanted microorganisms), micelles (which can be found in detergents), fullerenes (which are carbon arranged and added to cosmetics as antioxidants), gold nanoparticles (which help to act like an anti-ageing/anti-wrinkle combo), and carbon nanotubes (which are added to sports equipment like golf clubs, tennis rackets, bicycles to add strength and minimalize weigh). These nanoparticles eventually find their way into water streams, the soil, the air, and environmental toxicologists must research the effects of these nanoparticles on the ecosystem.
How the LVEM microscope helps in this domain is through particle analysis and characterization from different sample types. This includes particle characterization in urban areas, detection of heavy metals within different food sources (fish and seafood), finding chromosomal aberrations in the environment and the inspection of biological specimens (wildlife, domestic animals).
Electron microscopy traditionally is one of the most demanding techniques to learn. However, the simplicity of the LVEM5 combined with the elimination of the staining step makes microscopy of nanoparticles for environmental toxicology research nice and accessible.
The versatile LVEM5 electron microscope operates with four distinct imaging modes; TEM, SEM, STEM and ED. This provides for comprehensive imaging and finer study. The more powerful LVEM25 is built upon the same platform as the LVEM5 and offers the same benefits, together with higher beam energy.
Whether it's in the fields of environmental toxicology or other material sciences, researchers and scientists are assured of top notch imaging with LVEM microscopes.
Interested in learning more about our family of low voltage electron microscopes?