Assessing and Mitigating the Hazard Potential of Two-Dimensional Materials

Linda M. Guiney, Xiang Wang, Tian Xia, André E. Nel, Mark C. Hersam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The family of two-dimensional (2D) materials is comprised of a continually expanding palette of unique compositions and properties with potential applications in electronics, optoelectronics, energy capture and storage, catalysis, and nanomedicine. To accelerate the implementation of 2D materials in widely disseminated technologies, human health and environmental implications need to be addressed. While extensive research has focused on assessing the toxicity and environmental fate of graphene and related carbon nanomaterials, the potential hazards of other 2D materials have only recently begun to be explored. Herein, the toxicity and environmental fate of postcarbon 2D materials, such as transition metal dichalcogenides, hexagonal boron nitride, and black phosphorus, are reviewed as a function of their preparation methods and surface functionalization. Specifically, we delineate how the hazard potential of 2D materials is directly related to structural parameters and physicochemical properties and how experimental design is critical to the accurate elucidation of the underlying toxicological mechanisms. Finally, a multidisciplinary approach for streamlining the hazard assessment of emerging 2D materials is outlined, thereby providing a pathway for accelerating their safe use in a range of technologically relevant contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6360-6377
Number of pages18
JournalACS nano
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 24 2018


  • 2D material
  • black phosphorus
  • environmental fate
  • hexagonal boron nitride
  • nanotoxicology
  • risk assessment
  • safety
  • toxicity
  • transition metal dichalcogenide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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