Acute toxicity of copper oxide nanoparticles to Daphnia magna under different test conditions

Amalie Thit, Krista Huggins, Henriette Selck, Anders Baun

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The acute toxicity of monodispersed 6 nm and <100 nm poly-dispersed copper oxide nanoparticles toward Daphnia magna was assessed using 48 h immobilization tests. CuSO4 was used as a reference. Four different exposure conditions were tested, to study whether the toxicity of the nanoparticle suspensions changed in a way similar to what is known for dissolved Cu: first in ISO standard test conditions (pH 7.8), second with slight acidity (pH 6.5), third in the presence of citric acid, and fourth in the presence of humic acid. For all four exposure conditions, the toxicity of Cu employed in the three forms followed the same sequence, i.e., CuSO4 > monodispersed 6 nm CuO ≫ poly-dispersed CuO. The toxicity of all Cu forms decreased from pH 6.5, ≫ pH 7.8, > pH 7.8 + citric acid, to ≫ pH 7.8 + humic acid. This pattern is in agreement with concentrations of Cu2+ calculated using the equilibrium model MINTEQ. These findings show that the acute toxicity of copper oxide nanoparticles is governed by test water composition and the chemical species Cu2+.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalToxicological and Environmental Chemistry
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)665-679
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Pollution
    • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
    • Copper oxide nanoparticles
    • crustacean
    • dissolved organic matter
    • speciation
    • toxicity
    • Biological materials
    • Citric acid
    • Copper
    • Copper oxides
    • Nanoparticles
    • Organic acids
    • Suspensions (fluids)
    • Dissolved organic matters
    • Equilibrium modeling
    • Exposure conditions
    • Nanoparticle suspension
    • Water composition
    • Toxicity


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