Engineered nanoparticles that offer unique physical and chemical properties are rapidly flooding the market for commercial applications. The applications include, but are not limited to, cosmetic products, light emitting diodes, solid state display, drug delivery, disease diagnosis, nanoscale drug reformulations, MRI contrast agents, and new treatments. Predictions have indicated a dramatic increase in the market for nanotechnology and corresponding products to reach $1 trillion in 2012.
As a result of the predicted increase in the use of NPs as components of consumer product, the presence of engineered nanoparticles in the environment has sparked human health safety concerns. NPs may be introduced to organisms by inhalation, intravenous (usually purposefully), ingestion, or absorption through the skin. It is projected that the total production of NPs will reach 58,000 tons/year in 2011-2020 which assures human exposure to NPs at the workplace, in food and drinking water, and wearable consumer products. This paper addresses the QD distribution when plants are exposed to NPs. Mung beans were incubated with aqueous solutions of quantum dots and allowed to grow for 21 days. The seedlings were sectioned and observed under the microscope to establish the locations of NPs with respect to the roots, stem, and leaves.