Assessing the toxicity of arsenic-bearing sulfide minerals with the bio-indicator Corophium volutator

Longpeng Cui, Chris Newcombe, Dagmar S. Urgast, Andrea Raab, Eva M. Krupp, Jörg Feldmann

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Abstract

A sediment-based toxicity test was designed to investigate the biological response of the amphipod Corophium volutator exposed to three common arsenic minerals, namely realgar (AsS), orpiment (As2S3) and arsenopyrite (Fe[AsS]). The LD50 for the loaded minerals and the added As in the sediment showed mineral-dependent toxicities increasing in the order of AsS approximate to As2S3 < Fe[AsS] (224-1329 mg As kg(-1)). The exposed animals accumulated arsenic in a mineral-dependent manner similar to the observed toxicity, with AsS approximate to As2S3 and both higher than that for Fe[AsS]. The arsenic concentration in C. volutator at the LD50 exposure exhibits the same mineral independences, confirming that the response is arsenic specific. A significant increase in extractable inorganic arsenic in the tissue (over 100-fold) at higher arsenic exposures (up to 3% mineral-loading, w/w) was revealed hence no significant biotransformation of inorganic arsenic. C. volutator is sensitive to arsenic and has the potential to be used as a bio-indicator to assess the toxicity of arsenic-containing sediments or arsenic-containing mining wastes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-61
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • bioaccumulation
  • biotransformation
  • speciation
  • oxidation-kinetics
  • trace-metals
  • estuarine
  • invertebrates
  • arsenosugars
  • dissolution
  • environment
  • metabolism
  • sediment

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