Behavior of two classes of organic contaminants in the presence of graphene oxide: Ecotoxicity, physicochemical characterization and theoretical calculations

Thatiely N Magalhães de Paula,Josiane A Souza Vendemiatti,Natália Gabriele Camparotto, Bruna Toledo, Ádria Caloto Oliveira,Tauany F Neves,Gisela A Umbuzeiro,Patrícia Prediger

Science of The Total Environment(2022)

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Graphene oxide (GO) production has increased considerably and therefore its presence in the environment is inevitable. When in aquatic environment GO can interact with co-existing compounds, modifying their toxicities for several organisms. However, the toxic effects of co-exposure of GO and organic compounds are rarely reported in the literature. Herein, we studied the behavior of four organic aquatic contaminants found in surface water such as 2-phenylbenzotriazoles (non-Cl PBTA-9 and PBTA-9) and phenoxyphenyl pesticides, pyriproxyfen (PYR) and lambdacyhalothrin (LCT), in the presence of GO. GO reduced 90% and 83% of the toxicity of non-Cl PBTA-9 and PBTA for Daphnia. When PBTAs were adsorbed onto GO surface their interactions caused GO agglomeration (up to 20 mm) and consequent precipitation, making PBTAs less bioavailable. PYR and LCT's toxicities increased up to 83% for PYR and 47% for LCT in the presence of GO, because their adsorption on GO lead to the stabilization of the suspensions (up to 0.5 μm). Those particles were then easily ingested and retained in the digestive tract of the daphnids, triggering the Trojan horse effect. Based on theoretical calculations we observed that PBTA compounds are planar, electron-poorer and more reactive than the studied pesticides, suggesting a better stability of the GO/PBTA complexes. PYR and LCT are nonplanar, electron-richer and less reactive towards GO than PBTAs, forming less stable GO complexes that could facilitate the desorption of pesticides, increasing toxic effects. Our results suggest that the properties of the organic toxicants can influence the stability of graphene oxide suspensions, playing a fundamental role in the modulation of their toxicity. Further research is needed for a deep understanding of the behavior of nanomaterials in the presence of contaminants and their effect in the toxicity of aquatic organisms.
2-Phenylbenzotriazoles,Pyriproxyfen,Lambda-cyhalothrin,Trojan horse,Ecotoxicity
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