John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of differently coated silver nanoparticles and silver nitrate in Enchytraeus crypticus upon aqueous exposure in an inert sand medium

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The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on Enchytraeus crypticus, applying a combined toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics approach to understand the relationship between survival and the development of internal Ag concentrations in the animals over time. Toxicity tests were conducted in medium composed of well‐defined aqueous solutions added to inert quartz sand to avoid the complexity of soil conditions. Citrate‐coated AgNPs (AgNP‐Cit) and polyvinylpyrrolidone‐coated AgNPs (AgNP‐PVP) were tested and compared with silver nitrate (AgNO3), which was used as a positive control for Ag ion effects. The median lethal concentration (LC50) values based on Ag concentrations in the solution phase of the test medium decreased over time and reached steady state after 7 d, with AgNO3 and AgNP‐PVP being more toxic than AgNP‐Cit. Slow dissolution may explain the low uptake kinetics and lower toxicity of AgNP‐Cit compared with the other 2 Ag forms. The LC50 values based on internal Ag concentrations in the animals were almost stable over time, highlighting the importance of integrating toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics and relating survival with internal Ag concentrations. Neither survival‐based elimination rates nor internal LC50s in the organisms showed any significant evidence of nano‐specific effects for both AgNPs, although they suggested some uptake of particulate Ag for AgNP‐Cit. The authors conclude that the toxicity of both types of AgNP probably is mainly attributable to the release of Ag ions. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;9999:1–8. © 2015 SETAC

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