John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Effect of 10 different TiO2 and ZrO2 (nano)materials on the soil invertebrate Enchytraeus crypticus

Nearly 80% of all the nano‐powders produced worldwide are metal oxides, and among these materials titanium dioxide (TiO2) is one of the most produced. TiO2 toxicity is estimated low to soil organisms, but some studies have shown that TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) can cause oxidative stress. Additionally, it is known that TiO2 is activated by UV radiation, which can promote photocatalytic generation of reactive oxygen species, which is seldom taken into account in toxicity testing. In this study, we investigated the effects of different TiO2 and Zr materials on the soil oligochaete Enchytraeus crypticus, using exposure via soil, via water, and via soil‐water extracts, and studied the effects combined with UV radiation. The results showed that ZrO2 (bulk and nano) were not toxic, while zirconium tetrachloride (ZrCl4) reduced the enchytraeids reproduction in soil (EC50 = 502 mg/kg). TiO2 materials were also not toxic via soil exposure, neither under UV radiation. However, pre‐exposure to TiO2 and UV radiation via aqueous media caused a lower reproductive output in the post exposure in clean soil (20 to 50% less, but only observed in the lowest concentration tested – 1 mg/L); i.e. the effect of TiO2 in water was potentiated by the UV and measurable as a decrease in reproduction in soil media. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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