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Bioaccumulation assessment of nanomaterials using freshwater invertebrate species

: Kuehr, Sebastian; Kosfeld, Verena; Schlechtriem, Christian

Volltext ()

Environmental Sciences Europe : ESEU 33 (2021), Art. 9, 36 S.
ISSN: 2190-4715
ISSN: 2190-4707
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IME ()
risk assessment; nanomaterials; bioconcentration; biomagnification; invertebrates

The high production volume of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) may lead to high pressure on the environment, and a scientific assessment of ENMs that bioaccumulate in organisms and biomagnify in the food web is necessary. Within the regulation of chemicals in several jurisdictions, such as the European regulation REACH, the bioconcentration factor is the standard endpoint. The bioconcentration factor is mostly determined by flow-through fish tests. However, nanomaterials tend to agglomerate, which may lead to sedimentation in aquatic environments. The bioavailability of the tested nanomaterials may be thus impaired for pelagic species, including fish, in comparison to benthic or filtrating species. Several risk assessment regulations allow the usage of data gained during tests using invertebrates and such data may allow a waiver of further tests using vertebrates. The aim of this study was to elucidate the potential of different freshwater invertebrate species to be used in laboratory bioaccumulation studies on ENMs and to give some guidance for the use of bioaccumulation endpoints derived from studies using aquatic invertebrate species in the risk assessment process for ENMs.
The existing literature related to the testing of nanomaterial bioaccumulation with freshwater invertebrates was screened and reviewed to find suitable test species with regard to their ecology and physiology, as well as laboratory test systems allowing to investigate the bioavailability/bioaccumulation of nanomaterials with the respective species. Bivalvia, gastropoda, isopoda, amphipoda, and branchiopoda were reviewed and their suitability for bioaccumulation testing was assessed. Amphipods and bivalves represent worst-case scenarios and show clear advantages to be used as test organisms. However, only amphipods allow the examination of two clearly independent exposure pathways (water and diet).
Amphipods are suitable test organisms for bioaccumulation testing of ENMs. The results from amphipod bioconcentration and biomagnification tests can be included in a tiered assessment suggested at the end of this study allowing a clear grading of the tested nanomaterials as “bioaccumulative” or “non bioaccumulative.” Due to the worst-case scenario of the amphipod test, this approach may allow a waiver of further vertebrate tests.