Short-term soil bioassays may not reveal the full toxicity potential for nanomaterials; bioavailability and toxicity of silver ions (AgNO₃) and silver nanoparticles to earthworm Eisenia fetida in long-term aged soils.Environ Pollut. 2015 Aug; 203:191-198.EP
This study investigated if standard risk assessment hazard tests are long enough to adequately provide the worst case exposure for nanomaterials. This study therefore determined the comparative effects of the aging on the bioavailability and toxicity to earthworms of soils dosed with silver ions and silver nanoparticles (Ag NP) for 1, 9, 30 & 52 weeks, and related this to the total Ag in the soil, Ag in soil pore water and earthworm tissue Ag concentrations. For ionic Ag, a classical pattern of reduced bioavailability and toxicity with time aged in the soil was observed. For the Ag NP, toxicity increased with time apparently driven by Ag ion dissolution from the added Ag NPs. Internal Ag in the earthworms did not always explain toxicity and suggested the presence of an internalised, low-toxicity Ag fraction (as intact or transformed NPs) after shorter aging times. Our results indicate that short-term exposures, without long-term soil aging, are not able to properly assess the environmental risk of Ag NPs and that ultimately, with aging time, Ag ion and Ag NP effect will merge to a common value.