• Assessment and prediction of joint algal toxicity of binary mixtures of graphene and ionic liquids.

      Wang, Zhuang; Zhang, Fan; Wang, Se; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (2017-10)
      Graphene and ionic liquids (ILs) released into the environment will interact with each other. So far however, the risks associated with the concurrent exposure of biota to graphene and ILs in the environment have received little attention. The research reported here focused on observing and predicting the joint toxicity effects in the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus exposed to binary mixtures of intrinsic graphene (iG)/graphene oxide (GO) and five ILs of varying anionic and cationic types. The isolated ILs in the binary mixtures were the main contributors to toxicity. The binary GO-IL mixtures resulted in more severe joint toxicity than the binary iG-IL mixtures, irrespective of mixture ratios. The mechanism of the joint toxicity may be associated with the adsorption capability of the graphenes for the ILs, the dispersion stability of the graphenes in aquatic media, and modulation of the binary mixtures-induced oxidative stress. A toxic unit assessment showed that the graphene and IL toxicities were additive at low concentration of the mixtures but antagonistic at high concentration of the mixtures. Predictions made using the concentration addition and independent action models were close to the observed joint toxicities regardless of mixture types and mixture ratios. These findings provide new insights that are of use in the risk assessment of mixtures of engineered nanoparticles and other environmentally relevant contaminants.
    • Exploring uptake and biodistribution of polystyrene (nano)particles in zebrafish embryos at different developmental stages.

      van Pomeren, M; Brun, N R; Peijnenburg, W J G M; Vijver, M G (2017-09)
      In ecotoxicology, it is continuously questioned whether (nano)particle exposure results in particle uptake and subsequent biodistribution or if particles adsorb to the epithelial layer only. To contribute to answering this question, we investigated different uptake routes in zebrafish embryos and how they affect particle uptake into organs and within whole organisms. This is addressed by exposing three different life stages of the zebrafish embryo in order to cover the following exposure routes: via chorion and dermal exposure; dermal exposure; oral and dermal exposure. How different nanoparticle sizes affect uptake routes was assessed by using polystyrene particles of 25, 50, 250 and 700nm. In our experimental study, we showed that particle uptake in biota is restricted to oral exposure, whereas the dermal route resulted in adsorption to the epidermis and gills only. Ingestion followed by biodistribution was observed for the tested particles of 25 and 50nm. The particles spread through the body and eventually accumulated in specific organs and tissues such as the eyes. Particles larger than 50nm were predominantly adsorbed onto the intestinal tract and outer epidermis of zebrafish embryos. Embryos exposed to particles via both epidermis and intestine showed highest uptake and eventually accumulated particles in the eye, whereas uptake of particles via the chorion and epidermis resulted in marginal uptake. Organ uptake and internal distribution should be monitored more closely to provide more in depth information of the toxicity of particles.
    • A novel concept in ground water quality management: Towards function specific screening values.

      Swartjes, Frank A; Otte, Piet F (2017)
      This paper is meant to initiate and feed the discussion on a more sophisticated procedure for the derivation and use of groundwater screening values (GSVs). To this purpose, the possibilities and tools for the derivation of function specific GSVs, i.e., GSVs that depend on the actual contact of humans and ecosystems with groundwater and groundwater-related mediums, are elaborated in this study. Application of GSVs geared to the specific use and function of specific groundwater volumes could result in a more effective and cost-efficient groundwater quality management, without compromising the protection of human health and the ecosystem. Therefore, a procedure to derive function specific GSVs was developed. For illustrative purposes, risk limits have been derived for human health and ecological protection targets, for arsenic, benzene, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and vinylchloride. Agriculture and Nature reserves (combined), Residential and Industrial land uses have been considered and two different groundwater management purposes, i.e., curative and sustainable groundwater management. For each of the four contaminants, this results in a series of risks limits for each function and land use combination. It is shown that for all four contaminants higher groundwater screening values are considered appropriate for less sensitive combinations of function and land use. In the process towards (policy) implementation of these function specific GSV, it is recommended to evaluate the selection of protection targets, the scientific basis of the risk assessment procedures applied and the methodology to assess the time factor for groundwater quality assessment, given the fact that groundwater is a dynamic medium. Moreover, protection levels must be harmonized with national or regional groundwater quality standards and correspond with the requirements of the Groundwater Daughter Directive of the European Union Water Framework Directive. Groundwater plumes that are judged as 'no need for remediation' are not compatible with the Water Framework Directive requirement to take actions to prevent or limit inputs of contaminants, even when no receptor is present. However, the European Commission formulated a series of exemptions, to avoid that the "prevent" requirement would imply an onerous and sometimes unfeasible task. The function specific GSVs derived in this study could be used to identify the groundwater volumes that do not result in an unacceptable risk.
    • Time-gated luminescence imaging of singlet oxygen photoinduced by fluoroquinolones and functionalized graphenes in Daphnia magna.

      Luo, Tianlie; Chen, Jingwen; Song, Bo; Ma, Hua; Fu, Zhiqiang; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (2017-10)
      Singlet oxygen (1O2) can be photogenerated by photoactive xenobiotics and is capable of causing adverse effects due to its electrophilicity and its high reactivity with biological molecules. Detection of the production and distribution of 1O2 in living organisms is therefore of great importance. In this study, a luminescent probe ATTA-Eu3+ combined with time-gated luminescence imaging was adopted to detect the distribution and temporal variation of 1O2 photoinduced by fluoroquinolone antibiotics and carboxylated/aminated graphenes in Daphnia magna. Results show that the xenobiotics generate 1O2 in living daphnids under simulated sunlight irradiation (SSR). The photogeneration of 1O2 by carboxylated/aminated graphenes was also confirmed by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The strongest luminescence signals of 1O2 were observed in the hindgut of daphnids, and the signals in different areas of the daphnids (gut, thoracic legs and post-abdominal claw) displayed a similar trend of enhancement over irradiation time. Mean 1O2 concentrations at different regions of daphnids within one hour of SSR irradiation were estimated to be in the range of 0.5∼4.8μM. This study presented an efficient method for visualizing and quantifying the temporal and spatial distribution of 1O2 photogenerated by xenobiotics in living organisms, which can be employed for phototoxicity evaluation of xenobiotics.