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Oral bioaccessibility of silver nanoparticles and ions in natural soils: Importance of soil properties

Dang, Fei, Jiang, Yuanyuan, Li, Min, Zhong, Huan, Peijnenburg, WillieJ.G.M., Shi, Weilin, Zhou, Dongmei
Environmental pollution 2018 v.243 pp. 364-373
adsorption, bioavailability, children, chlorine, clay fraction, digestion, exposure pathways, gastric juice, human health, ingestion, intestines, ions, nanoparticles, nanosilver, pH, polluted soils, products and commodities, risk, screening, silver, silver nitrate, urban areas
The abundance of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in consumer products has led to their environmental release and therefore to concern about their impact on human health. The ingestion of AgNP-contaminated soil from urban sites is an important exposure pathway, especially for children. Given the limited information on oral bioaccessibility of soil Ag, we used a physiologically based extraction test (PBET) to evaluate the bioaccessibility of AgNPs and AgNO3 from soil digestion. The AgNPs underwent several biochemical transformations, including their simultaneous dissolution and agglomeration in gastric fluid followed by the disintegration in the intestinal fluid of the agglomerates into NPs containing silver and chlorine. Therefore, Ag-containing soil exposed the intestine to nanoparticulate Ag in forms that were structurally different from the original forms. The bioaccessibility of AgNPs (0.5 ± 0.05%–10.9 ± 0.7%) was significantly lower than that of AgNO3 (4.7 ± 0.6%–14.4 ± 0.1%), as a result of the lower adsorption of nanoparticles to soil residues during the digestive process. For the soils tested, the bioaccessibility of AgNPs increased with decreasing clay contents and lower pH. By identifying the soil properties that control AgNP bioaccessibility, a more efficient and accurate screening can be performed of soil types that pose the greatest health risk associated with AgNP exposure.