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Mixture toxicity of zinc oxide nanoparticle and chemicals with different mode of action upon Vibrio fischeri

Chen, Fen, Wu, Ligui, Xiao, Xiaoyu, Rong, Lingling, Li, Mi, Zou, Xiaoming
Environmental sciences Europe 2020 v.32 no.1 pp. 41
Vibrio fischeri, acute toxicity, additive effect, antagonism, chronic toxicity, mechanism of action, models, nanoparticles, prediction, toxicity testing, zinc, zinc oxide, Yangtze River
BACKGROUND: Zinc oxide nanoparticle (nZnO) and chemicals with different mode of action (MOA, i.e., narcotic and reactive) were frequently detected in the Yangtze River. Organisms are typically exposed to mixtures of nZnO and other chemicals rather than individual nZnO. Toxicity of nZnO is caused by the dissolution of Zn²⁺, which has been proved in the field of single toxicity. However, it is still unclear whether the released Zn²⁺ plays a critical role in the nZnO toxicity of nZnO–chemicals mixtures. In the present study, the binary mixture toxicity of nZnO/Zn²⁺ and chemicals with different MOA was investigated in acute (15 min) and chronic (12 h) toxicity test upon Vibrio fischeri (V. fischeri). The joint effects of nZnO and tested chemicals were explored. Moreover, two classic models, concentration addition (CA) and independent action (IA) were applied to predict the toxicity of mixtures. RESULTS: The difference of toxicity unit (TU) values between the mixtures of Zn²⁺–chemicals with those of nZnO–chemicals was not significant (P > 0.05), not only in acute toxicity test but also in chronic toxicity test. The antagonistic or additive effects for nZnO-chemicals can be observed in most mixtures, with the TU values ranging from 0.75 to 1.77 and 0.47 to 2.45 in acute toxicity test and chronic test, respectively. We also observed that the prediction accuracy of CA and IA models was not very well in the mixtures where the difference between the toxicity ratios of the components was small (less than about 10), with the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) values ranging from 0.14 to 0.67 for CA model and 0.17–0.51 for IA model, respectively. CONCLUSION: We found that the dissolved Zn²⁺ mainly accounted for the nZnO toxicity in the mixtures of nZnO–chemicals, and the joint effects of these mixtures were mostly antagonism and additivity. CA and IA models were unsuitable for predicting the mixture toxicity of nZnO–chemicals at their equitoxic ratios.