Water environments are noted as being some of the most exposed to the influence of toxic nanoparticles (NPs). Therefore, there is a growing need for the investigation of the accumulation and toxicity of NPs to aquatic organisms. In our studies neutron activation followed by gamma spectrometry and liquid scintillation counting were used for studying the accumulation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) by freshwater larvae of Chironomus and fish Danio rerio. The influence of exposition time, concentration and the source of nanoparticles on the efficiency of AgNP accumulation were studied. It was found that AgNPs are efficiently accumulated by Chironomid larvae for the first 30 hours of exposition; then, the amount of silver nanoparticles decreases. The silver content in larvae increases together with the NP concentration in water. Larvae which have accumulated AgNPs can be a source of nanoparticles for fish and certainly higher levels of Ag in the trophic chain. In comparison with water contamination, silver nanoparticles are more efficiently accumulated if fish are fed with AgNP-contaminated food. Finally, it was concluded that the applied study strategy, including neutron activation of nanoparticles, is very useful technique for tracing the uptake and accumulation of NPs in organisms
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