ICON Web & News
Search Using OECD Database
Return to Previous Page
Addition or Correction
Low Concentrations of Silver Nanoparticles in Biosolids Cause Adverse Ecosystem Responses under Realistic Field Scenario
Link to Journal Abstract
A large fraction of engineered nanomaterials in consumer and commercial products will reach natural ecosystems. To date, research on the biological impacts of environmental nanomaterial exposures has largely focused on high-concentration exposures in mechanistic lab studies with single strains of model organisms. These results are difficult to extrapolate to ecosystems, where exposures will likely be at low-concentrations and which are inhabited by a diversity of organisms. Here we show adverse responses of plants and microorganisms in a replicated long-term terrestrial mesocosm field experiment following a single low dose of silver nanoparticles (0.14 mg Ag kg−1 soil) applied via a likely route of exposure, sewage biosolid application. While total aboveground plant biomass did not differ between treatments receiving biosolids, one plant species, Microstegium vimeneum, had 32 % less biomass in the Slurry+AgNP treatment relative to the Slurry only treatment. Microorganisms were also affected by AgNP treatment, which gave a significantly different community composition of bacteria in the Slurry+AgNPs as opposed to the Slurry treatment one day after addition as analyzed by T-RFLP analysis of 16S-rRNA genes. After eight days, N2O flux was 4.5 fold higher in the Slurry+AgNPs treatment than the Slurry treatment. After fifty days, community composition and N2O flux of the Slurry+AgNPs treatment converged with the Slurry. However, the soil microbial extracellular enzymes leucine amino peptidase and phosphatase had 52 and 27% lower activities, respectively, while microbial biomass was 35% lower than the Slurry. We also show that the magnitude of these responses was in all cases as large as or larger than the positive control, AgNO3, added at 4-fold the Ag concentration of the silver nanoparticles.
In this study, the authors investigate the responses of plants and microorganisms in a replicated long-term terrestrial mesocosm field experiment following a single low dose of silver nanoparticles (0.14 mg Ag kg−1 soil) applied via a likely route of exposure, sewage biosolid application.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Environmental Fate and Transport
Risk Exposure Group
PLoS One, 2013, 8(2): e57189
Colman BP, Arnaout CL, Anciaux S, Gunsch CK, Hochella MF, Kim B, Lowry GV, McGill BM, Reinsch BC, Richardson CJ, Unrine JM, Wright JP, Yin L, Bernhardt ES
e57189 (10 pp)
Last updated on February 28, 2013
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
Why Join Us?
Mission and Strategy
Good Nano Guide
Nano EHS Research Needs
Current Practices Survey