John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Uptake and toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in terrestrial springtails—studying bioconcentration kinetics and linking toxicity to chemical activity

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Passive dosing applies a polymer loaded with test compound(s) to establish and maintain constant exposure in laboratory experiments. Passive dosing with the silicone poly(dimethylsiloxane) was used to control exposure of the terrestrial springtail Folsomia candida to six polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in bioconcentration and toxicity experiments. Folsomia candida could move freely on the PAH‐loaded poly(dimethylsiloxane), resulting in exposure via air and direct contact. The bioconcentration kinetics indicated efficient uptake of naphthalene, anthracene, and pyrene through air and (near) equilibrium partitioning of these PAHs to lipids and possibly the waxy layer of the springtail cuticle. Toxicities of naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene were related to chemical activity, which quantifies the energetic level and drives spontaneous processes including diffusive biouptake. Chemical activity–response relationships yielded effective lethal chemical activities well within the expected range for baseline toxicity (0.01–0.1). Effective lethal body burdens for naphthalene and pyrene exceeded the expected range of 2 to 8 mmol kg−1 fresh weight, which again indicated the waxy layer to be a sorbing phase. Finally, chemical activities were converted into equilibrium partitioning concentrations in lipids yielding effective lethal concentrations for naphthalene and phenanthrene in good correspondence with the lethal membrane burden for baseline toxicity (40–160 mmol kg−1 lipid). Passive dosing was a practical approach for tightly controlling PAH exposure, which in turn provided new experimental possibilities and findings. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. © 2012 SETAC

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