Main content area

Nanoparticle silver coexposure reduces the accumulation of weathered persistent pesticides by earthworms

Mukherjee, Arnab, Hawthorne, Joseph, White, Jason C., Kelsey, Jason W.
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2017 v.36 no.7 pp. 1864-1871
DDE (pesticide), Eisenia fetida, biomass, chlordane, coatings, earthworms, metabolites, nanoparticles, particle size, risk, silver
Although the use of engineered nanomaterials continues to increase, how these materials interact with coexisting contaminants in the environment is largely unknown. The effect of silver (Ag) in bulk, ionic, and nanoparticle (NP; bare and polyvinyl pyrrolidone–coated) forms at 3 concentrations (0 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg, 1000 mg/kg, 2000 mg/kg; ion at 69 mg/kg, 138 mg/kg, 276 mg/kg) on the accumulation of field‐weathered chlordane and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene + metabolites (DDX) by Eisenia fetida (earthworm) was investigated. Earthworm biomass and survival were unaffected by treatment. At the 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg exposure levels, NP‐exposed earthworms contained significantly greater Ag (194–245%) than did the bulk exposed organisms; NP size or coating had no impact on element content. Generally, exposure to Ag of any type or at any concentration significantly reduced pesticide accumulation, although reductions for DDX (35.1%; 8.9–47.0%) were more modest than those for chlordane (79.0%; 17.4–92.9%). For DDX, the reduction in pesticide accumulation was not significantly affected by Ag type or concentration. For chlordane, the 3 NP exposures suppressed chlordane accumulation significantly more than did bulk exposure; earthworms exposed to bulk Ag contained 1170 ng/g chlordane, but levels in the NP‐exposed earthworms were 279 ng/g. At the 500 mg/kg exposure, the smallest coated NPs exerted the greatest suppression in chlordane accumulation; at the 2 higher concentrations, chlordane uptake was unaffected by NP size or coating. The findings show that in exposed earthworms Ag particle size does significantly impact accumulation of the element itself, as well as that of coexisting weathered pesticides. The implications of these findings with regard to NP exposure and risk are unknown but are the topic of current investigation. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1864–1871. © 2016 SETAC