Consumer exposure to silver nanoparticles (AgNP) via ingestion can occur due to incorporation of AgNP into products such as food containers and dietary supplements. AgNP variations in size and coating may affect toxicity, elimination kinetics or tissue distribution. Here, we directly compared acute administration of AgNP of two differing coatings and sizes to mice, using doses of 0.1, 1 and 10 mg/kg body weight/day administered by oral gavage for 3 days. The maximal dose is equivalent to 2000× the EPA oral reference dose. Silver acetate at the same doses was used as ionic silver control. We found no toxicity and no significant tissue accumulation. Additionally, no toxicity was seen when AgNP were dosed concurrently with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Between 70.5% and 98.6% of the administered silver dose was recovered in feces and particle size and coating differences did not significantly influence fecal silver. Peak fecal silver was detected between 6- and 9-h post-administration and <0.5% of the administered dose was cumulatively detected in liver, spleen, intestines or urine at 48 h. Although particle size and coating did not affect tissue accumulation, silver was detected in liver, spleen and kidney of mice administered ionic silver at marginally higher levels than those administered AgNP, suggesting that silver ion may be more bioavailable. Our results suggest that, irrespective of particle size and coating, acute oral exposure to AgNP at doses relevant to potential human exposure is associated with predominantly fecal elimination and is not associated with accumulation in tissue or toxicity.
- in vivo
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural