Are individual NOEC levels safe for mixtures? A study on mixture toxicity of brominated flame-retardants in the copepod Nitocra spinipes.
2008 (English)In: Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, Vol. 72, no 9, 1242-9 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In aquatic ecosystems organisms are exposed to mixtures of pollutants. Still, risk assessment focuses almost exclusively on effect characterization of individual substances. The main objective of the current study was therefore to study mixture toxicity of a common group of industrial substances, i.e., brominated flame–retardants (BFRs), in the harpacticoid copepod Nitocra spinipes. Initially, 10 BFRs with high hydrophobicity but otherwise varying chemical characteristics were selected based on multivariate chemical characterization and tested individually for effects on mortality and development using a partial life cycle test (six days) where silica gel is used as a carrier of the hydrophobic substances. Based on these findings, six of the 10 BFRs were mixed in a series of NOEC proportions (which were set to 0.008, 0.04, 0.2, 1, and five times the NOEC concentrations for each individual BFR), loaded on silica gel and tested in a full life cycle test (26 days). Significantly increased mortality was observed in N. spinipes after six and 26 days exposure at a NOEC proportion that equals the NOECLDR value (×1) for each BFR in the mixture (p = 0.0015 and p = 0.0105, respectively). At the NOEC × 5 proportion all animals were dead. None of the other NOEC proportions caused significant negative responses related to development and reproduction. This shows that low concentrations of individual substances can cause toxicity if exposed in mixtures, which highlights the need to consider mixture toxicity to a greater extent in regulatory work.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 72, no 9, 1242-9 p.
Environmental risk assessment, Silica gel, Crustacean, Reproduction, Development, Statistical power
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-10190DOI: doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.05.004PubMedID: 18561976OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-10190DiVA: diva2:149861