JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effect of soil organic matter content and pH on the toxicity of ZnO nanoparticles to Folsomia candida

Pauline L Waalewijn-Kool, Svenja Rupp, Stephen Lofts, Claus Svendsen, Cornelis A M van Gestel
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 2014, 108: 9-15
25038266
Organic matter (OM) and pH may influence nanoparticle fate and effects in soil. This study investigated the influence of soil organic matter content and pH on the toxicity of ZnO-NP and ZnCl2 to Folsomia candida in four natural soils, having between 2.37% and 14.7% OM and [Formula: see text] levels between 5.0 and 6.8. Porewater Zn concentrations were much lower in ZnO-NP than in ZnCl2 spiked soils, resulting in higher Freundlich sorption constants for ZnO-NP. For ZnCl2 the porewater Zn concentrations were significantly higher in less organic soils, while for ZnO-NP the highest soluble Zn level (23mgZn/l) was measured in the most organic soil, which had the lowest pH. Free Zn(2+) ion concentrations were higher for ZnCl2 than for ZnO-NP and were greatly dependent on pH (pHpw) and dissolved organic carbon content of the pore water. The 28-d EC50 values for the effect of ZnCl2 on the reproduction of F. candida increased with increasing OM content from 356 to 1592mgZn/kg d.w. For ZnO-NP no correlation between EC50 values and OM content was found and EC50 values ranged from 1695 in the most organic soil to 4446mgZn/kg d.w. in the higher pH soil. When based on porewater and free Zn(2+) concentrations, EC50 values were higher for ZnCl2 than for ZnO-NP, and consistently decreased with increasing pHpw. This study shows that ZnO-NP toxicity is dependent on soil properties, but is mainly driven by soil pH.

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