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Keywords:

  • Bioavailability;
  • Carboxylic acid functionalized fullerene;
  • Nanomaterial;
  • Mixture toxicity;
  • Pyrethroid

Abstract

Incorporation of carbon nanomaterials into industrial and consumer products is increasing, yet their impact on aquatic ecosystems alone and in chemical mixtures is largely unknown. Carbon nanomaterials may be found in the aquatic environment as mixtures with pesticides because of their proposed use in agriculture as smart delivery systems and nanosensors. The interaction effects of a functionalized fullerene ([1,2-methanofullerene C60]-61-carboxylic acid) (fC60) at 52.8 µg/L and the hydrophobic pesticides bifenthrin and tribufos were examined. The test organism was Daphnia magna, and response variables included 48-h survival, reproduction (bifenthrin, 70-d; tribufos, 21-d), and 10-d growth. Both pesticides reduced D. magna survival and reproduction (p < 0.05). Fullerenes significantly increased bifenthrin acute toxicity but did not significantly affect chronic endpoints or growth (p > 0.05). Median lethal concentrations (LC50s), median inhibition concentrations (IC50s) for days surviving, and IC50s for reproduction were 0.86, 0.55, and 0.49 µg/L for bifenthrin; 0.22, 0.39, and 0.77 µg/L for fC60-bifenthrin mix; 6.63, 9.89, and 5.79 µg/L for tribufos; and 9.17, 8.17, and 6.59 µg/L for fC60–tribufos mix. Mixtures did not affect instantaneous growth rate (p > 0.05). These results suggest that fC60 had little effect on pesticide chronic toxicity but influenced acute toxicity. Given the widespread application of nanotechnology, the influence of nanomaterials on environmental contaminants is an important consideration. Thus, our results may be useful in the development and use of nanotechnology in agricultural practices. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:2600–2606. © 2010 SETAC