Silver Bioaccumulation Dynamics in a Freshwater Invertebrate after Aqueous and Dietary Exposures to Nanosized and Ionic Ag

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We compared silver (Ag) bioavailability and toxicity to a freshwater gastropod after exposure to ionic silver (Ag(+)) and to Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) capped with citrate or with humic acid. Silver form, exposure route, and capping agent influence Ag bioaccumulation dynamics in Lymnaea stagnalis. Snails efficiently accumulated Ag from all forms after either aqueous or dietary exposure. For both exposure routes, uptake rates were faster for Ag(+) than for Ag NPs. Snails efficiently assimilated Ag from Ag NPs mixed with diatoms (assimilation efficiency (AE) ranged from 49 to 58%) and from diatoms pre-exposed to Ag(+) (AE of 73%). In the diet, Ag NPs damaged digestion. Snails ate less and inefficiently processed the ingested food, which adversely impacted their growth. Loss rates of Ag were faster after waterborne exposure to Ag NPs than after exposure to dissolved Ag(+). Once Ag was taken up from diet, whether from Ag(+) or Ag NPs, Ag was lost extremely slowly. Large Ag body concentrations are thus expected in L. stagnalis after dietborne exposures, especially to citrate-capped Ag NPs. Ingestion of Ag associated with particulate materials appears as the most important vector of uptake. Nanosilver exposure from food might trigger important environmental risks.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6600-6607
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011