Ocean acidification increases the accumulation of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nTiO2) in edible bivalve mollusks and poses a potential threat to seafood safety

Large amounts of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere are taken up by the ocean, which leads to ‘ocean acidification’ (OA). In addition, the increasing application of nanoparticles inevitably leads to their increased release into the aquatic environment. However, the impact of OA on the bioaccumulation of nanoparticles in marine organisms still remains unknown. This study investigated the effects of OA on the bioaccumulation of a model nanoparticle, titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nTiO2), in three edible bivalves. All species tested accumulated significantly greater amount of nTiO2 in pCO2-acidified seawater. Furthermore, the potential health threats of realistic nTiO2 quantities accumulated in bivalves under future OA scenarios were evaluated with a mouse assay, which revealed evident organ edema and alterations in hematologic indices and blood chemistry values under future OA scenario (pH at 7.4). Overall, this study suggests that OA would enhance the accumulation of nTiO2 in edible bivalves and may therefore increase the health risk for seafood consumers.

Shi W., Han Y., Guo C., Su W., Zhao X., Zha S., Wang Y. & Liu G., 2019. Ocean acidification increases the accumulation of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nTiO2) in edible bivalve mollusks and poses a potential threat to seafood safety. Scientific Reports 9: 3516. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40047-1. Article.

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