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Langdon K.A.,Minerals Down Under Research and Land and Water FlagshipsCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganisationEnvironmental Contaminant Mitigation and TechnologiesGlen Osmond | Mclaughlin M.J.,Minerals Down Under Research and Land and Water FlagshipsCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganisationEnvironmental Contaminant Mitigation and TechnologiesGlen Osmond | Kirby J.K.,Minerals Down Under Research and Land and Water FlagshipsCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganisationEnvironmental Contaminant Mitigation and TechnologiesGlen Osmond | Merrington G.,WCA EnvironmentFaringdon
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2015

Silver (Ag) has been shown to exhibit antimicrobial properties; as a result, it is being used increasingly in a wide range of consumer products. With these uses, the likelihood that Ag may enter the environment has increased, predominately via land application of biosolids or irrigation with treated wastewater effluent. The aim of the present study was to investigate the toxicity of Ag to 2 plant species: barley (Hordeum vulgare L. CV Triumph) and tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) in a range of soils under both leached and unleached conditions. The concentrations that resulted in a 50% reduction of plant growth (EC50) were found to vary up to 20-fold across the soils, indicating a large influence of soil type on Ag toxicity. Overall, barley root elongation was found to be the least sensitive to added Ag, with EC50 values ranging from 51mg/kg to 1030mg/kg, whereas the tomato plant height showed higher sensitivity with EC50 values ranging from 46mg/kg to 486mg/kg. The effect of leaching was more evident in the barley toxicity results, where higher concentrations of Ag were required to induce toxicity. Variations in soil organic carbon and pH were found to be primarily responsible for mitigating Ag toxicity; therefore, these properties may be used in future risk assessments for Ag to predict toxicity in a wide range of soil types. © 2015 SETAC. Source

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