, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 226-233
Date: 01 Dec 2010

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

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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).