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Toxicity of carbon nanotubes to freshwater aquatic invertebrates

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

By:
, , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1002/etc.1888

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Abstract

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are hydrophobic in nature and thus tend to accumulate in sediments if released into aquatic environments. As part of our overall effort to examine the toxicity of carbon-based nanomaterials to sediment-dwelling invertebrates, we have evaluated the toxicity of different types of CNTs in 14-d water-only exposures to an amphipod (Hyalella azteca), a midge (Chironomus dilutus), an oligochaete (Lumbriculus variegatus), and a mussel (Villosa iris) in advance of conducting whole-sediment toxicity tests with CNTs. The results of these toxicity tests conducted with CNTs added to water showed that 1.00g/L (dry wt) of commercial sources of CNTs significantly reduced the survival or growth of the invertebrates. Toxicity was influenced by the type and source of the CNTs, by whether the materials were precleaned by acid, by whether sonication was used to disperse the materials, and by species of the test organisms. Light and electron microscope imaging of the surviving test organisms showed the presence of CNTs in the gut as well as on the outer surface of the test organisms, although no evidence was observed to show penetration of CNTs through cell membranes. The present study demonstrated that both the metals solubilized from CNTs such as nickel and the "metal-free" CNTs contributed to the toxicity.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Toxicity of carbon nanotubes to freshwater aquatic invertebrates
Series title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI:
10.1002/etc.1888
Volume
31
Issue:
8
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley
Publisher location:
Hoboken, NJ
Contributing office(s):
Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description:
7 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page:
1823
Last page:
1830
Country:
United States