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Impact of Organic Contamination on Some Aquatic Organisms

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      Contamination of water systems with organic compounds of agricultural uses pose threats to aquatic organisms. Carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, and diuron were considered as model aquatic pollutants in this study. The main objective of this study was to characterize the toxicity of organic contamination to two different aquatic organisms.

      Materials and Methods:

      Low concentrations (0.0–60 µmol/L) of carbaryl, diuron and very low concentration (0.0–0.14 µmol/L) of chlorpyrifos and their mixtures were tested against fish and Daphnia magna. Percentage of death and immobilization were taken as indicators of toxicity.


      Toxicity results to fish and D. magna showed that chlorpyrifos was the most toxic compound (LC 50 to fish and D. magna are 0.08, and 0.001 µmol/L respectively), followed by carbaryl (LC 50 to fish and D. magna are 43.19 and 0.031 µmol/L), while diuron was the least toxic one (LC 50 values for fish and D. magna are 43.48 and 32.11 µmol/L respectively). Mixture toxicity (binary and tertiary mixtures) showed antagonistic effects. Statistical analysis showed a significant difference among mixture toxicities to fish and D. magma.


      Fish and D. magam were sensitive to low concentrations. These data suggest potent threats to aquatic organisms from organic contamination.

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      Most cited references 42

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      The Synergistic Toxicity of Pesticide Mixtures: Implications for Risk Assessment and the Conservation of Endangered Pacific Salmon

      Background Mixtures of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides are commonly detected in freshwater habitats that support threatened and endangered species of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.). These pesticides inhibit the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and thus have potential to interfere with behaviors that may be essential for salmon survival. Although the effects of individual anticholin-esterase insecticides on aquatic species have been studied for decades, the neurotoxicity of mixtures is still poorly understood. Objectives We assessed whether chemicals in a mixture act in isolation (resulting in additive AChE inhibition) or whether components interact to produce either antagonistic or synergistic toxicity. Methods We measured brain AChE inhibition in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) exposed to sublethal concentrations of the organophosphates diazinon, malathion, and chlorpyrifos, as well as the carbamates carbaryl and carbofuran. Concentrations of individual chemicals were normalized to their respective median effective concentrations (EC50) and collectively fit to a nonlinear regression. We used this curve to determine whether toxicologic responses to binary mixtures were additive, antagonistic, or synergistic. Results We observed addition and synergism, with a greater degree of synergism at higher exposure concentrations. Several combinations of organophosphates were lethal at concentrations that were sublethal in single-chemical trials. Conclusion Single-chemical risk assessments are likely to underestimate the impacts of these insecticides on salmon in river systems where mixtures occur. Moreover, mixtures of pesticides that have been commonly reported in salmon habitats may pose a more important challenge for species recovery than previously anticipated.
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        How well can we predict the toxicity of pesticide mixtures to aquatic life?

        Results of publised pesticide mixure toxicity experiments conducted with aquatic organisms were compiled and evaluated to assess the accuracy of predictive mixture models. Three types of models were evaluated: Concentration addition (CA), independent action (IA), and simple interaction (SI). The CA model was the most often tested (207 experiments), followed by SI (59) and IA (37). The reviewed experiments are listed in the Supplemental material to provide a resource for future investigators. The predictive accuracy of each model was quantified for each experiment by the model deviation ratio (MDR), which was calculated by dividing the predicted toxicity by the observed toxicity. Eighty-eight percent of all experiments that evaluated the CA model had observed effective concentrations within a factor of 2 of predicted values (MDR values from 0.5-2.0). The median MDR was 1, about 5% of MDRs were less than 0.5, and about 5% were greater than 2, indicating unbiased estimates overall. The predictive accuracy of CA and IA models was influenced, however, by the different modes of action (MOA) of the pesticides. For experiments with pesticides with the same MOA, CA more accurately predicted effective concentrations for more experiments compared to IA, which tended to underpredict toxicity. The IA model was somewhat more accurate than the CA model for most mixtures with different MOAs, but in most cases there were relatively small differences between the models. Additionally, 80% of SI experiments had an MDR value below 2.0 despite a bias towards experiments that are likely to have an interaction. Thus, results indicate that the CA model may be used as a slightly conservative, but broadly applicable model with a relatively small likelihood of underestimating effects due to interactions.
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          The Pesticide Manual


            Author and article information

            Department of Environment and Earth Science, Faculty of Science, The Islamic University, Gaza, Palestine
            Author notes
            Address for correspondence: Dr. El-Nahhal Yasser, Department of Environment and Earth Science, Faculty of Science, The Islamic University, Gaza, Palestine. E-mail: y_el_nahhal@
            Toxicol Int
            Toxicol Int
            Toxicology International
            Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
            Jan-Apr 2015
            : 22
            : 1
            : 45-53
            26862260 4721176 TI-22-45 10.4103/0971-6580.172256
            Copyright: © Toxicology International

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

            Original Article


            mixture, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diuron, daphnia magna, fish, toxicity


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