Evaluation of the protective effects of reactive sulfide on the acute toxicity of silver to rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

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Journal Article
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2004, 23 (5), pp. 1204 - 1210
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Acute 96-h toxicity tests were performed with juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to AgNO3 in either the absence or the presence of 100 nM reactive sulfide to evaluate the protective effect of aqueous sulfides against ionic Ag toxicity. The sulfide was presented in the form of zinc sulfide (ZnS) clusters under oxic conditions. Silver was lost from the water column during the course of the experiment, so mean measured Ag concentrations were used to generate all median lethal concentration (LC50) data. The system was complicated in that Ag2S precipitated because of the need for large amounts of Ag to obtain lethal effects in the presence of ZnS. Some of the losses of Ag could be explained by complexation with ZnS and formation of solid Ag2S. Other losses were probably the result of partial adsorption to exposure-chamber walls or to complexation with ligands or functional groups within organic material produced by the fish. The LC50 (95% confidence interval) values generated using measured concentrations for total Ag were 139 (122-162) nM in the absence of sulfide and 377 (340-455) nM in the presence of 100 nM sulfide. The LC50 values generated using measured concentrations from filtered (pore size, 0.45 μm) water samples were 122 (105-145) nM in the absence of sulfide and 225 (192-239) nM in the presence of 100 nM sulfide. These results suggest a stoichiometric protection of sulfides up to a 2:1 ratio of Ag:sulfide. Greater accumulation of Ag at the gills was measured in fish exposed to AgNO3 in the presence of sulfide.
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