This paper explores some of the fundamental and practical issues related to the behavior of nanoparticles in the environment and their potential impacts on human health. In our research we have explored the reactive behaviors of nanoparticles with contaminants in the environment, how nanoparticle change in response to their environment and time, and how nanoparticles interact with biological systems of various types. It has become apparent that researchers often underestimate the difficulties of preparing and delivering well characterized nanoparticles for specific types of testing or applications. Difficulties arise in areas that range from not understanding what imparts the nano character of a particle to not knowing the impacts of minor species on the properties of high surface area materials. Some of our adventures and misadventures serve as examples of some of these issues as they relate to providing well defined particles for biological studies.