Approved Abstracts

Quality assessment approach for bioaccumulation studies in fish with nanomaterials



Author(s): Martínez-Morcillo S; Connolly M; Kalman J; Navas JM; Bleeker EAJ; Fernández-Cruz ML;
Presenter: María Luisa Fernandez-Cruz

Information on bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms is essential for understanding the environmental behaviour and fate of nanomaterials (NMs). This data is used for hazard classification and forms part of a persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity (PBT) assessment that is required in several regulatory frameworks. The OECD Test Guideline number 305 (TG 305) is the standard assay most widely used for testing bioaccumulation in fish and it considers two routes of exposure of fish to substances, an aqueous or dietary route. However, uncertainty surrounds the performance of assays with NMs and the applicability and adequacy of current available bioaccumulation tests to meet regulatory needs. Within the H2020 project Gov4Nano some approaches will be proposed to address how to perform bioaccumulation assays in fish with NMs following TG 305 as close as possible. Here we report a system to assess the quality of the available data related to the bioaccumulation of NMs in fish using a refined GUIDEnano approach, considering TG 305 validity criteria, and identified nano-specific information. For the collection of latest progress (2007-2021) in NMs bioaccumulation studies in fish a bibliographic revision of peer-reviewed literature has been performed. Templates have been developed to input all relevant data and critical information to allow the assessment of the completeness and reliability of studies performed using an automatic quality scoring system. The scoring system is based on the GUIDEnano quality approach and consists briefly of two scores related to nanomaterial characterization (S) and reliability of the study (K). These two scores combined determine the final quality (Q) score. The S and K scores are based on answering Yes or No to different questions. If each critical information question is covered by each data input, a Yes/No picklist allows quality assessments scores to be calculated automatically. A total of 69 studies were identified, 50 were conducted using aqueous exposure, 17 used the dietary exposure route, and 5 incorporated both aqueous and dietary exposures. Trophic transfer studies (10) have been also performed using pre-exposed animals (e.g. zooplankton or the crustacean Daphnia magna or worms to mimic natural diets). In most cases justification for selecting one or other of the exposure routes was not provided. The NMs tested included TiO2, Zn, ZnO, Cu, CuO, Ag, Au, CeO2, Fe2O3, Fe3O4, Se, CdS, CdSe/ZnS-QDs, CdTe/ZnS-QDs, graphene, fullerenol and MWCNTs. The main identified information gaps according to identified NM characterization (substance-S score) are related to lack of information on purity and/or impurities as well as size or shape of the pristine NM and in exposure medium. Further characterisations of NM stability under exposure conditions and measurements of exposure concentrations were also lacking in a large number of studies. Reliability (K scoring) of the study, related with experimental design and provided results, identified that fundamental details about the test organism species were lacking (e.g. size, animal age/life stage). Furthermore, bioconcentration factor (BCF) or biomagnification factor (BMF) values, critical for regulatory purposes, were not reported in all studies to allow evaluation. As well as providing a template for bioaccumulation study data input the incorporated quality assessment approach also facilitates the identification of information gaps related to NM bioaccumulation studies in fish. Template implementation would aid future studies to meet completeness and overall quality requirements and in line with FAIR principles the data introduced in templates will be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. This work has been supported by H2020 Project Gov4Nano (Grant Agreement No. 814401). Mona Connolly has received financing granted by the Community of Madrid (2018-T2/AMB-11392, Mode 2, Young Doctor Recruitment).

Keywords: bioaccumulation; nanomaterials; fish

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