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What stands out among the main conclusions of the study is the fact that the distribution of the metal in the organs of the fish is influenced by the form (soluble or nanoparticles) that the silver takes in the water. At the same time, soluble silver was also found to cause short-term alterations (three days) and nanoparticles longer-term alterations (21 days); and that in both cases the animals had purified themselves of the silver accumulated in their bodies after spending six months in clean waters, although inflammation of the gills was found to remain after being exposed to the metal.
In the study, led by Amaia Orbea, three groups of 50-60 adult zebrafish each were used in three aquaria. Silver nitrate was added to the first tank to produce water-soluble silver; 20-nm silver nanoparticles (NP Ag) were added to the second; clean water was added to the third which was used as the control. The groups in the contaminated tanks remained exposed to both forms of the metal for 21 days before spending a further six months in clean water for the purpose of studying the consequences of long-term exposure to silver. A concentration of metal regarded as environmentally significant was used, in other words, a concentration that could be found in nature, for example at the outfall of wastewater from treatment plants. The accumulation of a substance is the...
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