John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Influence of carbon nanotubes on the bioavailability of fluoranthene

Concurrent with the increase in the use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in society is the increase in their introduction into the environment. CNTs cause adverse effects themselves and they have the potential to adsorb contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Though CNTs have a high adsorption capacity for PAHs and these contaminants can co‐occur in the environment, few studies have characterized the bioavailability of CNT‐adsorbed PAHs to fish. The goal of this research was to characterize the bioavailability of fluoranthene (FLU) adsorbed to suspended multiwalled‐carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in freshwater containing natural organic matter (NOM). Adsorption isotherms indicated that NOM influenced the adsorption of FLU to MWNTs, although in the absence of MWNTs it did not influence the bioavailability of FLU to P. promelas. P. promelas were exposed for 16 h in synthetic moderately hard water (MHW) containing FLU in the presence of different concentrations of NOM, and FLU adsorbed to MWNTs in the presence of NOM. Bioavailable FLU was quantified in each exposure through bile analysis using fluorescence spectrophotometry. By comparing the concentration of FLU metabolites in the bile to the concentration of FLU added to MWNT and NOM solutions, the relative bioavailability of FLU adsorbed to MWNTs was quantified. Results indicate that approximately 60‐90% of the FLU was adsorbed to the MWNTs and that adsorbed FLU was not bioavailable to P. promelas. The results also suggest that FLU is not desorbed from ingested MWNT, and the bioavailable fraction is only the freely dissolved FLU in the aqueous phase. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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