Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have recently attracted great interest in water pollution management. Using the zebrafish embryo model, we investigated the environmental impacts of two thermally (RGOTi)- and hydrogen (H₂RGOTi)-reduced graphene oxide/TiO₂ semiconductor photocatalysts recently employed in AOPs. For this purpose, acutoxicity, cardiotoxicity, neurobehavioral toxicity, hematopoietic toxicity, and hatching rate were determinate. For the RGOTi, the no observed effect concentration (NOEC, mortality/teratogenicity score <20%) and the median lethal concentration (LC50) were <400 and 748.6 mg/L, respectively. H₂RGOTi showed a NOEC similar to RGOTi. However, no significant mortality was detected at all concentrations used in the acutoxicity assay (up to1000 mg/L), thus indicating a hypothetical LC50 higher than 1000 mg/L. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service Acute Toxicity Rating Scale, RGOTi can be classified as "practically not toxic" and H₂RGOTi as "relatively harmless". However, both nanocomposites should be used with caution at concentration higher than the NOEC (400 mg/L), in particular RGOTi, which significantly (i) caused pericardial and yolk sac edema; (ii) decreased the hatching rate, locomotion, and hematopoietic activities; and (iii) affected the heart rate. Indeed, the aforementioned teratogenic phenotypes were less devastating in H₂RGOTi-treated embryos, suggesting that the hydrogen-reduced graphene oxide/TiO₂ photocatalysts may be more ecofriendly than the thermally-reduced ones.
Ecotoxicological Assessment of Thermally- and Hydrogen-Reduced Graphene Oxide/TiO₂ Photocatalytic Nanocomposites Using the Zebrafish Embryo Model / Al-Kandari, Halema; Younes, Nadin; Al-Jamal, Ola; Zakaria, Zain Z; Najjar, Huda; Alserr, Farah; Pintus, Gianfranco; Al-Asmakh, Maha A; Abdullah, Aboubakr M; Nasrallah, Gheyath K. - In: NANOMATERIALS. - ISSN 2079-4991. - 9:4(2019), p. 488. [10.3390/nano9040488]