Comparison of short-term chronic and chronic silver toxicity to fathead minnows in unamended and sodium chloride-amended waters

Rami B. Naddy, Anita B. Rehner, Gina R. McNerney, Joseph W. Gorsuch, James R. Kramer, Chris M. Wood, Paul R. Paquin, William A. Stubblefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The chronic (early life stage [ELS]) and short-term chronic (STC) toxicity of silver (as silver nitrate) to fathead minnows (FHM) was determined concurrently in flow-through exposures (33 volume additions/d). Paired ELS (∼30 d) and STC (7 d) studies were conducted with and without the addition of 60 mg/L CI (as NaCl). The paired studies in unamended water were later repeated using standard flow conditions (9 volume additions/d). The purpose of the paired studies was to determine if short-term chronic endpoints can be used to predict effects in ELS studies. For each experiment, a "split- chamber" design (organisms were held in a common exposure chamber) allowed the direct comparison between short-term and chronic exposures. It appeared that the chronic toxicity of silver was mitigated to some extent by NaCl addition. The maximum acceptable toxicant concentration for growth in the ELS study was 0.53 μg dissolved Ag/L under standard flow conditions. Early life stage and STC endpoints in all three studies typically agreed within a factor of two. Whole-body sodium and silver concentrations measured in individual fathead minnows during these studies showed an increase in silver body burdens and a decrease in sodium concentration. These results indicate that the STC study could be used as a surrogate test to estimate chronic toxicity and that the mechanism of chronic silver toxicity may be the same as for acute toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1922-1930
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Early life stage exposure
  • Pimephales promelas
  • Short-term chronic exposure
  • Sodium chloride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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