Long-Term Transformation and Fate of Manufactured Ag Nanoparticles in a Simulated Large Scale Freshwater Emergent Wetland.

Journal Article (Academic article)

Transformations and long-term fate of engineered nanomaterials must be measured in realistic complex natural systems to accurately assess the risks that they may pose. Here, we determine the long-term behavior of poly(vinylpyrrolidone)-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in freshwater mesocosms simulating an emergent wetland environment. AgNPs were either applied to the water column or to the terrestrial soils. The distribution of silver among water, solids, and biota, and Ag speciation in soils and sediment was determined 18 months after dosing. Most (70 wt %) of the added Ag resided in the soils and sediments, and largely remained in the compartment in which they were dosed. However, some movement between soil and sediment was observed. Movement of AgNPs from terrestrial soils to sediments was more facile than from sediments to soils, suggesting that erosion and runoff is a potential pathway for AgNPs to enter waterways. The AgNPs in terrestrial soils were transformed to Ag(2)S (∼52%), whereas AgNPs in the subaquatic sediment were present as Ag(2)S (55%) and Ag-sulfhydryl compounds (27%). Despite significant sulfidation of the AgNPs, a fraction of the added Ag resided in the terrestrial plant biomass (∼3 wt % for the terrestrially dosed mesocosm), and relatively high body burdens of Ag (0.5-3.3 μg Ag/g wet weight) were found in mosquito fish and chironomids in both mesocosms. Thus, Ag from the NPs remained bioavailable even after partial sulfidation and when water column total Ag concentrations are low (

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lowry, GV; Espinasse, BP; Badireddy, AR; Richardson, CJ; Reinsch, BC; Bryant, LD; Bone, AJ; Deonarine, A; Chae, S; Therezien, M; Colman, BP; Hsu Kim, H; Bernhardt, ES; Matson, CW; Wiesner, MR

Published Date

  • April 2012

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 22463850

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1520-5851

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/es204608d


  • English