Recovery of fish populations from environmental nanosilver release

Nanosilver is an antimicrobial agent found in thousands of commercial products, frequently released into waterways as a result of their use in clothing and washing machines, as well as many other products with potential for environmental release. Though regulations on environmental release exist for elemental silver, no regulations exist for nanosilver release into the environment. Many studies have now demonstrated that nanosilver causes very different toxic reactions in organisms compared with elemental silver, suggesting different guidelines for environmental release are required. As a MITACS accelerate intern, Lauren Hayhurst is participating in an experimental whole-lake addition of nanosilver by investigating the effects on fish populations at the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area. This work is critical in helping form science-based environmental policy for the regulation of a product which is already being broadly used commercially. The IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) has over 20 years of developing environmental policy and advice adopted by governments around the world, and the ELA has over 45 years of conducting whole-ecosystem experiments that have guided environmental policy on nutrients, acid rain, atmospheric mercury and estrogen, saving governments billions of dollars in environmental remediation costs.

Faculty Supervisor:

Michael Rennie


Lauren Hayhurst


IISD Experimental Lakes Area Inc




Fisheries and wildlife


Lakehead University



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