Can environmental levels of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles found in skin care products affect fish development and behaviour?

Project Details


Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) and Zinc Oxide (ZnO) are common compounds found in a range of beauty and personal care products, from suncreams to toothpaste. Much of the product enters waterways, including, rivers and marine environments. Even in very small quantities TiO2 and ZnO can be lethal to fish.

A range of impacts of TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles have been shown in a number of fish species, including Immunotoxicity, reproductive effects, brain development, and cardiorespiratory effects.

To date no research has been published on behavioural or developmental effects of TiO2 and ZnO on any fish species. This project examined the impacts of sub-lethal doses of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide on the larvae of of zebrafish and assesses their ability to survive in wild environments after exposure to sublethgal effects of these commonly used compounds.

This research allows a better understanding of the behavioural responses to exposure of these compounds and can be linked to potential survival in the wild.
Effective start/end date1/04/1631/03/17


  • Royal Society


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