John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Silver nanoparticle toxicity to Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) and Caenorhabditis elegans: A comparison of mesocosm, microcosm and conventional laboratory studies

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The use of silver nanoparticles in consumer products and industrial applications, as well as recent detection in waste streams, has created concern over potential impacts on aquatic ecosystems. The effect of complex environmental media on silver nanoparticle toxicity was investigated using wetland mesocosms and smaller scale microcosms. Mesocosms were dosed with 2.5 mg Ag/L as gum arabic (GA) coated Ag‐NPs, polyvinylpyrolidone (PVP) coated Ag‐NPs, or AgNO3. Water samples were taken from mesocosms 24 hs post‐dosing for acute toxicity tests with embryos and larvae of Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Acute toxicity tests were also performed on Atlantic killifish with AgNO3, GA Ag‐NPs and PVP Ag‐NPs prepared in the laboratory with similar water. For killifish embryos, mesocosm samples were much less toxic than laboratory samples for all types of silver. In contrast, for larvae, all three silver mesocosm treatments exhibited toxicity. Interestingly, mesocosm samples of AgNO3 were less toxic than laboratorysamples; GA Ag‐NP‐containing samples were similar in toxicity, and PVP Ag‐NP‐containing samples were more toxic. For C. elegans, results were similar to killifish larvae. Results obtained from the mesocosms were not replicated on the smaller scale of the microcosms. These results indicate that environmental factors unique to the mesocosms acted differentially on AgNO3 to reduce its toxicity in a manner that does not translate to Ag‐NPs for larval fish. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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