The release of Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) into the aquatic environment is likely, but the influence of water chemistry on their impacts and fate remains unclear. Here, we characterize the bioavailability of Ag from AgNO3 and from AgNPs capped with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP AgNP) and thiolated polyethylene glycol (PEG AgNP) in the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, after short waterborne exposures. Results showed that water hardness, AgNP capping agents, and metal speciation affected the uptake rate of Ag from AgNPs. Comparison of the results from organisms of similar weight showed that water hardness affected the uptake of Ag from AgNPs, but not that from AgNO3. Transformation (dissolution and aggregation) of the AgNPs was also influenced by water hardness and the capping agent. Bioavailability of Ag from AgNPs was, in turn, correlated to these physical changes. Water hardness increased the aggregation of AgNPs, especially for PEG AgNPs, reducing the bioavailability of Ag from PEG AgNPs to a greater degree than from PVP AgNPs. Higher dissolved Ag concentrations were measured for the PVP AgNPs (15%) compared to PEG AgNPs (3%) in moderately hard water, enhancing Ag bioavailability of the former. Multiple drivers of bioavailability yielded differences in Ag influx between very hard and deionized water where the uptake rate constants (kuw, l g-1 d-1 ± SE) varied from 3.1 ± 0.7 to 0.2 ± 0.01 for PEG AgNPs and from 2.3 ± 0.02 to 1.3 ± 0.01 for PVP AgNPs. Modeling bioavailability of Ag from NPs revealed that Ag influx into L. stagnalis comprised uptake from the NPs themselves and from newly dissolved Ag.
- Lymnaea stagnalis