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Keywords:

  • Sodium tungstate;
  • Tungsten;
  • Seedling emergence;
  • Earthworm toxicity

Abstract

Due to unknown effects of the potential exposure of the terrestrial environment to tungsten substances, a series of toxicity studies of sodium tungstate (Na2WO4) was conducted. The effect on earthworm (Eisenia fetida) survival and reproduction was examined using Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guideline 222. No effect on either endpoint was seen at the highest concentration tested, resulting in a 56-d no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC) of ≥586 mg tungsten/kg dry soil (nominal concentrations). The effect of sodium tungstate on emergence and growth of plant species was examined according to OECD Guideline 208: oat (Avena sativa), radish (Raphanus sativus), and lettuce (Lactuca sativa). No effects on emergence, shoot height, and dry shoot weight were observed in oats exposed to the highest concentration, resulting in a 21-d NOEC of ≥586 mg tungsten/kg dry soil. The NOECs for radish and lettuce were 65 and 21.7 mg tungsten/kg dry soil (nominal concentrations), respectively. Respective 21-d median effective concentration values (EC50) for radish and lettuce were >586 and 313 mg tungsten/kg dry soil (based on shoot height) (confidence level [CL] −8.5–615); EC25 values were 152 (CL 0–331) and 55 (CL 0–114) mg tungsten/kg dry soil. Results are consistent with the few other tungsten substance terrestrial toxicity studies in the literature. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011;30:2312–2318. © 2011 SETAC