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Vol. 83, No: 8, 2011, Pages: 1053 - 61

Acute effects of Fe2O3, TiO2, ZnO and CuO nanomaterials on Xenopus laevis

Nations S, Wages M, Caņas JE, Maul J, Theodorakis C, Cobb GP

Department of Environmental Toxicology, The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA.


Metal oxide nanomaterials have exhibited toxicity to a variety of aquatic organisms, especially microbes and invertebrates. To date, few studies have evaluated the toxicity of metal oxide nanomaterials on aquatic vertebrates. Therefore, this study examined effects of ZnO, TiO(2), Fe(2)O(3), and CuO nanomaterials (20-100 nm) on amphibians utilizing the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay Xenopus (FETAX) protocol, a 96 h exposure with daily solution exchanges. Nanomaterials were dispersed in reconstituted moderately hard test medium. These exposures did not increase mortality in static renewal exposures containing up to 1,000 mg L(-1) for TiO(2), Fe(2)O(3), CuO, and ZnO, but did induce developmental abnormalities. Gastrointestinal, spinal, and other abnormalities were observed in CuO and ZnO nanomaterial exposures at concentrations as low as 3.16 mg L(-1) (ZnO). An EC(50) of 10.3 mg L(-1) ZnO was observed for total malformations. The minimum concentration to inhibit growth of tadpoles exposed to CuO or ZnO nanomaterials was 10 mg L(-1). The results indicate that select nanomaterials can negatively affect amphibians during development. Evaluation of nanomaterial exposure on vertebrate organisms are imperative to responsible production and introduction of nanomaterials in everyday products to ensure human and environmental safety.

Keywords:aquatic organisms, especially microbes and invertebrates,toxicity of metal oxide nanomaterials on aquatic vertebrates.



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