Gold nanoparticles do not induce adverse effects on terrestrial isopods Porcellio scaber after 14-day exposure

Škarková P, Romih T, Kos M, Novak S, Kononenko V, Jemec A, Vávrová M, Drobne D
[ pdf ] [ site ] Acta Biologica Slovenica, 2016

Despite the anticipated environmental release of anthropogenic gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), there is currently not enough data on their potential impact on terrestrial environment. In the current study, we investigated the effects of considerably low concentrations of AuNPs on terrestrial isopods (Porcellio scaber) after 14 days of exposure. The effects on mortality, weight change, feeding rate, avoidance/preference feeding behavior, and cell membrane destabilization of digestive gland cells were followed. In parallel, the accumulation of Au in the digestive glands was measured. Our results show that none of the tested parameters was affected in isopods under given exposure doses (10 and 60 µg Au/g dry leaf) and exposure duration. No Au was assimilated in the digestive glands. Also, the same doses of the reference chemical, AuCl3, showed no effect. We conclude that these concentrations of AuNPs are safe for terrestrial isopods. We encourage reporting the results showing no adverse effects of nanoparticles to balance the prevailing publication of their adverse effects. This will help to build a realistic public perception of the environmental risk of nanomaterials.