Monique C. P. Mendonça 1,2,*,†, Natália P. Rodrigues 2,†, Marcelo B. de Jesus 1 [OrcID] and Mónica J. B. Amorim 2,* [OrcID]
1Department of Biochemistry and Tissue Biology, Institute of Biology, University of Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo 13083-970, Brazil
2Department of Biology, CESAM, University of Aveiro, Aveiro 3810-193, Portugal
*Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
†These authors contributed equally to this work.
Graphene-based nanomaterials (GBNs) possess unique physicochemical properties, allowing a wide range of applications in physical, chemical, and biomedical fields. Although GBNs are broadly used, information about their adverse effects on ecosystem health, especially in the terrestrial environment, is limited. Therefore, this study aims to assess the toxicity of two commonly used derivatives of GBNs, graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO), in the soil invertebrate Enchytraeus crypticus using a reduced full life cycle test. At higher exposure concentrations, GO induced high mortality and severe impairment in the reproduction rate, while rGO showed little adverse effect up to 1000 mg/kg. Collectively, our body of results suggests that the degree of oxidation of GO correlates with their toxic effects on E. crypticus, which argues against generalization on GBNs ecotoxicity. Identifying the key factors affecting the toxicity of GBNs, including ecotoxicity, is urgent for the design of safe GBNs for commercial purposes.
Keywords: graphene oxide; reduced graphene oxide; terrestrial environment; survival; reproduction; hatching success
Full paper downloadable here: https://www.mdpi.com/2079-4991/9/6/858/htm