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Portrait of Tommy Cedervall; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Tommy Cedervall

Associate Professor, Coordinator Nanosafety

Portrait of Tommy Cedervall; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Long-term exposure to nanoplastics reduces life-time in Daphnia magna


  • Egle Kelpsiene
  • Oscar Torstensson
  • Mikael T. Ekvall
  • L-A Hansson
  • Tommy Cedervall

Summary, in English

Plastics are widely used in todays society leading to an accelerating amount of plastic waste entering natural ecosystems. Over time these waste products degrade to micro- and, eventually, nanoplastic particles. Therefore, the break-down of plastics may become a critical threat to aquatic ecosystems and several short term studies have demonstrated acute toxicity of nanoplastics on aquatic organisms. However, our knowledge about effects of chronic or life-time exposure on freshwater invertebrates remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate results from life-time exposure (103 days) of a common freshwater invertebrate, Daphnia magna, exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of polystyrene nanoparticles. 53 nm positively charged aminated polystyrene particles were lethal at concentration of 0.32 mg/L which is two magnitudes lower than previously used concentrations in short-term (24 h) tests. At this concentration the life-time of individuals was shortened almost three times. Negatively charged carboxylated 26 and 62 nm polystyrene particles, previously demonstrated to be non-toxic at 25 and 50 mg/L concentrations in short-term tests, were toxic to D. magna at all concentrations used in our long-term study. Although total reproductive output was not significantly affected at increasing concentrations of polystyrene nanoparticles, there was a decreasing trend in the number of offspring over their life-time. Hence, in order to understand how the potential future environmental problem of nanoplastic particles may affect biota, long-term or life-time studies resembling environmental concentrations should be performed in order to provide information for predictions of future scenarios in natural aquatic environments.


  • Biochemistry and Structural Biology
  • NanoLund: Center for Nanoscience
  • Division aquatic ecology
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Aquatic Ecology

Publishing year





Scientific Reports



Document type

Journal article


Nature Publishing Group


  • Ecology



Research group

  • Aquatic Ecology


  • ISSN: 2045-2322