Details zur Publikation

Kategorie Textpublikation
Referenztyp Zeitschriften
DOI 10.1186/s12302-022-00687-z
Lizenz creative commons licence
Titel (primär) Toxicity of ZnO and Fe2O3 nano-agro-chemicals to soil microbial activities, nitrogen utilization, and associated human health risks
Autor Shah, G.M.; Amin, M.; Shahid, M.; Ahmad, I.; Khalid, S.; Abbas, G.; Imran, M.; Naeem, M.A.; Shahid, N.
Quelle Environmental Sciences Europe
Erscheinungsjahr 2022
Department OEKOTOX
Band/Volume 34
Seite von art. 106
Sprache englisch
Topic T9 Healthy Planet
Keywords Fertilizers; Metal oxide nanoparticles; Nanoparticle toxicity; Human Health; Microbial biomass; Mineralization; Poultry manure


Various nano-enabled agrochemicals are being extensively used for soil remediation and to boost crop production by increasing the nutrient efficiency of fertilizers. However, understanding of their potential risks on the manure–soil–plant continuum is limited. These nano-agrochemicals can be potentially toxic to soil microbes and their associated functions, such as nitrogen (N) mineralization and decomposition of organic materials. Moreover, the accumulation of nanoparticles (NPs) in edible crops may reduce food quality, and can cause serious threats to human health. Accordingly, here we investigated how zinc (ZONPs) and iron oxide (IONPs) nanoparticles affect the soil microbial communities, their efficiency of decomposition and N mineralization, radish yield, and plant N recovery after soil application of poultry manure (PM). Furthermore, we studied the associated health risks (DIM, HRI) via dietary intake of radish.


Soil application of ZONPs and IONPs significantly (P < 0.05) increased microbial biomass Zn/Fe indicating their microbial utilization. This decreased the colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria and fungi. For example, the application of PM with ZONPs and IONPs decreased the CFU of bacteria by 32% and 19%, respectively. In case of fungi, the CFU reductions were slightly different (ZONPs: 28% and IONPs: 23%). Consequently, the N mineralization significantly decreased by 62% and 29% due to ZONPs and IONPs, respectively. Which ultimately resulted in the reduction of radish dry matter yield by 22% and 12%. The respective reductions of the apparent N recovery (ANR) were 65% and 39%. Health risk assessment indicated that DIM and HRI values from both the NPs lie under safe limits.


We conclude that both metal oxide nanoparticles (i.e., ZONPs and IONPs) can significantly affect the soil microbial community, their associated functions, and crop yield with the former being relatively more toxic. However, no evidence was found regarding the health risks to humans via dietary radish intake. These toxicological effects imply restricting the widespread production and use of NPs, and developing strategies for their safe disposal to avoid their contact with soil beneficial microorganisms.

dauerhafte UFZ-Verlinkung
Shah, G.M., Amin, M., Shahid, M., Ahmad, I., Khalid, S., Abbas, G., Imran, M., Naeem, M.A., Shahid, N. (2022):
Toxicity of ZnO and Fe2O3 nano-agro-chemicals to soil microbial activities, nitrogen utilization, and associated human health risks
Environ. Sci. Eur. 34 , art. 106 10.1186/s12302-022-00687-z