The toxicity of silver to soil organisms exposed to silver nanoparticles and silver nitrate in biosolids-amended field soil.Environ Toxicol Chem. 2017 10; 36(10):2756-2765.ET
The use of engineered silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) is widespread, with expected release to the terrestrial environment through the application of biosolids onto agricultural lands. The toxicity of AgNPs and silver nitrate (AgNO3 ; as ionic Ag+) to plant (Elymus lanceolatus and Trifolium pratense) and soil invertebrate (Eisenia andrei and Folsomia candida) species was assessed using Ag-amended biosolids applied to a natural sandy loam soil. Bioavailable Ag+ in soil samples was estimated using an ion-exchange technique applied to KNO3 soil extracts, whereas exposure to dispersible AgNPs was verified by single-particle inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and transmission electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis. Greater toxicity to plant growth and earthworm reproduction was observed in AgNP exposures relative to those of AgNO3 , whereas no difference in toxicity was observed for F. candida reproduction. Transformation products in the AgNP-biosolids exposures resulted in larger pools of extractable Ag+ than those from AgNO3 -biosolids exposures, at similar total Ag soil concentrations. The results of the present study reveal intrinsic differences in the behavior and bioavailability of the 2 different forms of Ag within the biosolids-soils pathway. The present study demonstrates how analytical methods that target biologically relevant fractions can be used to advance the understanding of AgNP behavior and toxicity in terrestrial environments. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2756-2765. © 2017 Crown in the Right of Canada. Published Wiley Periodicals Inc., on behalf of SETAC.