Article

Ecotoxicology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 226-233

Limit-test toxicity screening of selected inorganic nanoparticles to the earthworm Eisenia fetida

  • Lars-Henrik HeckmannAffiliated withDepartment of Terrestrial Ecology, National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University
  • , Mads B. HovgaardAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University
  • , Duncan S. SutherlandAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University
  • , Herman AutrupAffiliated withInstitute for Public Health, Aarhus University
  • , Flemming BesenbacherAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University
  • , Janeck J. Scott-FordsmandAffiliated withDepartment of Terrestrial Ecology, National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University Email author 

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Abstract

The toxicity of a range of inorganic (Ag, Cu, Ni, Al2O3, SiO2, TiO2 and ZrO2) nanoparticles (NP) and their corresponding metal salt or bulk metal oxide were screened for toxicity toward the earthworm Eisenia fetida using the limit-test design (1000 mg/kg). This study provides the first ecotoxicological life history trait data on earthworms for each these NPs, as well as for AgNO3, Al2O3, SiO2, TiO2 and ZrO2. Significant effects were observed on survival for AgNO3 (2.5% of controls), CuCl2 (17.5% of controls) and NiCl2 (32.5% of controls) and on reproduction (AgNO3, CuCl2, NiCl2, Ag-NP, Cu-NP, TiO2-NP); with total reproductive failure in both silver treatments. Ag-NP, Cu-NP and TiO2-NP were the only NPs that caused toxic effects to E. fetida. The toxicity could not be singularly related to particle size or zeta potential or to the inherent element constituting the NPs (e.g. Ag).

Keywords

Soil toxicity Invertebrates Nanomaterials Nanoparticles Metal Metal oxides