The influence of engineered Fe2O3 nanoparticles and soluble (FeCl3) iron on the developmental toxicity caused by CO2-induced seawater acidification

An embryo development assay using a common test organism, the edible mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), exposed to both Fe2O3 nanoparticles and soluble FeCl3 at 3 acidic pHs, has provided evidence for the following: (1) CO2 enriched seawater adjusted to pH projections for carbon capture leakage scenarios (CCS) significantly impaired embryo development; (2) under natural pH conditions, no significant effect was detected following exposure of embryos to Fe, no matter if in nano- or soluble form; (3) at pH of natural seawater nano-Fe particles aggregate into large, polydisperse and porous particles, with no biological impact detected; (4) at pH 6 and 7, such aggregates may moderate the damage associated with CO2 enrichment as indicated by an increased prevalence of normal D-shell larvae when nano-Fe was present in the seawater at pH 7, while soluble iron benefited embryo development at pH 6, and (5) the observed effects of iron on pH-induced development toxicity were concentration dependent.