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Assessment of side-effects by Ludox TMA silica nanoparticles following a dietary exposure on the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

  • Mommaerts, Veerle
  • Jodko, Katarzyna
  • Thomassen, Leen CJ
  • Martens, Johan A
  • Kirsch-Volders, Micheline
  • Smagghe, Guy
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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We assessed lethal and sublethal side-effects of Ludox TMA silica nanoparticles on a terrestrial pollinator, Bombus terrestris (Linnaeus), via a dietary exposure. Dynamic light scattering analysis confirmed that silica Ludox TMA nanoparticles remained in suspension in the drinking sugar water. Exposure of bumblebee microcolonies during 7 weeks to the different nanoparticle concentrations (high: 34, 170 and 340 mg/l and low: 34 and 340 mu g/l) did not cause worker mortality compared to the controls. Also no effect on the worker foraging behavior was observed after exposure to nanoparticles concentrations up to 340 mu g/l. In contrast, the high concentrations (>= 34 mg/l) resulted in a total loss of reproduction. Using histological analysis we confirmed severe midgut epithelial injury in intoxicated workers (>= 34 mg/l). Despite the fact that these concentrations are much higher than the predicted environmental concentrations, precaution is still needed as information regarding their fate in the terrestrial environment and their potency to bioaccumulate and biomagnificate is lacking.

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