Comparison of acute to chronic ratios between silver and gold nanoparticles, using <i>Ceriodaphnia dubia</i>

<p>As integration of nanoparticles (NPs) into products becomes more common, the need to address the paucity of chronic hazard information for aquatic environments required to determine risk potential increases. This study generated acute and chronic toxicity reference values for <i>Ceriodaphnia dubia</i> exposed to 20 and 100 nm silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to generate and evaluate potential differences in acute-to-chronic ratios (ACR) using two different feeding methods. A modified feeding procedure was employed alongside the standard procedures to investigate the influence of food on organism exposure. An 8-h period before food was added allowed direct organism exposure to NP dispersions (and associated ions) without food-to-NP interactions. The AgNPs [chronic lethal median concentrations (LC50) between 18.7 and 31.9 µg/L] were substantially more toxic than AuNPs (LC50 = 21 507 to >26 384 µg/L). The modified chronic testing method resulted in greater sensitivity in AgNPs exposures. However, the modified feeding ration had less of an effect in exposures to the larger (100 nm) AgNPs compared to smaller particles (20 nm). The ACRs for AgNPs using the standard feeding ration were 1.6 and 3.5 for 20 nm and 100 nm, respectively. The ACRs for AgNPs using the modified feeding ration were 3.4 and 7.6 for 20 nm and 100 nm NPs, respectively. This supports that the addition of the standard feeding ration decreases <i>C. dubia</i> chronic sensitivity to AgNPs, although it must also be recognized organisms may be sensitized due to less access to food. The ACRs for 20 nm and 100 nm AuNPs (standard ration only) were 4.0 and 3.0, respectively. It is important to also consider that dissolved Ag<sup>+</sup> ions are more toxic than AgNPs, based on both acute toxicity values in the cited literature and chronic toxicity thresholds generated in this study that support existing thresholds that Ag<sup>+</sup> are likely protective of AgNPs effects.</p>