Moira S. McKee, Jan Köser,Oliver Focke, Juliane Filser
Science of The Total Environment (2019) 673, 13-621
Fate, bioavailability and toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are largely affected by soil properties. Here we focused on how these processes are connected in simulated soil pore water. OECD soil components (sand, kaolin clay, peat) were covered with NM-300K-, AgNO3- and NM-300K dispersant-contaminated water, and Folsomia candida were exposed on the water surface. After 14 days the majority of AgNP was in nano form in sand pore water where also silver uptake was highest. Multilayered cross sections from X-ray micrographs of Collembola exposed to AgNP showed that silver was located in animal areas of direct contact to the contaminated pore water and was ingested. In contrast, in simulated peat pore water only a small fraction of silver was bioavailable. AgNO3 was only bioavailable at the start of the test and not anymore at test end. AgNP and AgNO3 caused immobilization in sand and kaolin pore water while no toxicity was found with peat and OECD soil. A strong correlation (correlation coefficient = 0.901) existed between the concentration of nano silver and immobilization; for ionic silver this was not the case. The dispersant of AgNP was toxic on its own in sand and kaolin pore water. As there are analytical limitations of quantifying AgNP in complex matrices this test system enables a mechanistic view of exposure and uptake of AgNP (and other substances) by F. candida from soil pore water.