Toxicity of ZnO nanoparticles, ZnO bulk, and ZnCl₂ on earthworms in a spiked natural soil and toxicological effects of leachates on aquatic organisms.Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2014 Nov; 67(4):465-73.AE
The present study assessed the uptake and toxicity of ZnO nanoparticles (NPs), ZnO bulk, and ZnCl₂ salt in earthworms in spiked agricultural soils. In addition, the toxicity of aqueous extracts to Daphnia magna and Chlorella vulgaris was analyzed to determine the risk of these soils to the aquatic compartment. We then investigated the distribution of Zn in soil fractions to interpret the nature of toxicity. Neither mortality nor differences in earthworm body weight were observed compared with the control. The most sensitive end point was reproduction. ZnCl₂ was notably toxic in eliminating the production of cocoons. The effects induced by ZnO-NPs and bulk ZnO on fecundity were similar and lower than those of the salt. In contrast to ZnO bulk, ZnO-NPs adversely affected fertility. The internal concentrations of Zn in earthworms in the NP group were greater than those in the salt and bulk groups, although bioconcentration factors were consistently <1. No relationship was found between toxicity and internal Zn amounts in earthworms. The results from the sequential extraction of soil showed that ZnCl₂ displayed the highest availability compared with both ZnO. Zn distribution was consistent with the greatest toxicity showed by the salt but not with Zn body concentrations. The soil extracts from both ZnO-NPs and bulk ZnO did not show effects on aquatic organisms (Daphnia and algae) after short-term exposure. However, ZnCl₂ extracts (total and 0.45-μm filtered) were toxic to Daphnia.