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Gartiser S.,Hydrotox GmbH | Hafner C.,Hydrotox GmbH | Hercher C.,Hydrotox GmbH | Kronenberger-Schafer K.,Hydrotox GmbH | Paschke A.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2010

Background, aim and scope: Toxicity testing has become a suitable tool for wastewater evaluation included in several reference documents on best available techniques of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive. The IPPC Directive requires that for direct dischargers as well as for indirect dischargers, the same best available techniques should be applied. Within the study, the whole effluent assessment approach of OSPAR has been applied for determining persistent toxicity of indirectly discharged wastewater from the metal surface treatment industry. Materials and methods: Twenty wastewater samples from the printed circuit board and electroplating industries which indirectly discharged their wastewater to municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) have been considered in the study. In all factories, the wastewater partial flows were separated in collecting tanks and physicochemically treated in-house. For assessing the behaviour of the wastewater samples in WWTPs, all samples were biologically pretreated for 7 days in the Zahn-Wellens test before ecotoxicity testing. Thus, persistent toxicity could be discriminated from non-persistent toxicity caused, e.g. by ammonium or readily biodegradable compounds. The fish egg test with Danio rerio, the Daphnia magna acute toxicity test, the algae test with Desmodesmus subspicatus, the Vibrio fischeri assay and the plant growth test with Lemna minor have been applied. All tests have been carried out according to well-established DIN or ISO standards and the lowest ineffective dilution (LID) concept. Additionally, genotoxicity was tested in the umu assay. The potential bioaccumulating substances (PBS) were determined by solid-phase micro-extraction and referred to the reference compound 2,3-dimethylnaphthalene. Results: The chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total organic carbon (TOC) values of the effluents were in the range of 30-2,850 mg L-1 (COD) and 2-614 mg L-1 (TOC). With respect to the metal concentrations, all samples were not heavily polluted. The maximum conductivity of the samples was 43,700 μS cm-1 and indicates that salts might contribute to the overall toxicity. Half of the wastewater samples proved to be biologically well treatable in the Zahn-Wellens test with COD elimination above 80%, whilst the others were insufficiently biodegraded (COD elimination 28-74%). After the pretreatment in the Zahn-Wellens test, wastewater samples from four (out of ten) companies were extremely ecotoxic especially to algae (maximum LIDA = 16,384). Three wastewater samples were genotoxic in the umu test. Applying the rules for salt correction of test results as allowed in the German Wastewater Ordinance, only a small part of toxicity could be attributed to salts. Considering the PBS, wastewater from the metal surface treatment industry exhibited very low levels of PBS. In one factory, the origin of ecotoxicity has been attributed to the organosulphide dimethyldithiocarbamate (DMDTC) used as a water treatment chemical for metal precipitation. The assumption based on rough calculation of input of the organosulphide into the wastewater was confirmed in practice by testing its ecotoxicity at the corresponding dilution ratio after pretreatment in the Zahn-Wellens test. Whilst the COD elimination of DMDTC was only 32% in 7 days, the pretreated sample exhibited a high ecotoxicity to algae (LIDA = 1,536) and luminescent bacteria (LIDlb = 256). Discussion: Comparative data from wastewater surveillance by authorities (data from 1993 to 2007) confirmed the range of ecotoxicity observed in the study. Whilst wastewater from the metal surface treatment industry usually did not exhibit ecotoxicity (median LID 1-2), the maximum LID values reported for the algae, daphnia and luminescent bacteria tests were very high (LIDA up to 3,072, LIDD up to 512 and LIDlb up to 2,048). DMDTC was found to be one important source of ecotoxicity in galvanic wastewater. DMDTC is added in surplus, and according to the supplier, the amount in excess should be detoxified with ferric chloride or iron sulphate. The operator of one electroplating company had not envisaged a separate treatment of the organosulphide wastewater but was assuming that excess organosulphide would be bound by other heavy metals in the sewer. DMDTC degrades via hydrolysis to carbon disulfide (which is also toxic to animals and aquatic organisms), carbonyl sulphide, hydrogen sulphide and dimethylamine, but forms complexes with metals which stabilise the compound with respect to transformation. Although no impact on the WWTP is expected, the question arises whether the organosulphide is completely degraded during the passage of the WWTP. Conclusions and recommendations: The results show that the organic load of wastewater from the electroplating industry has been underestimated by focussing on inorganic parameters such heavy metals, sulphide, cyanide, etc. Bioassays are a suitable tool for assessing the ecotoxicological relevance of these complex organic mixtures. The proof of biodegradability of the organic load (and its toxicity) can be provided by the Zahn-Wellens test. The environmental safety of water treatment chemicals should be better considered. The combination of the Zahn-Wellens test followed by the performance of ecotoxicity tests turned out to be a cost-efficient suitable instrument for the evaluation of indirect dischargers and considers the requirements of the IPPC Directive. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Gartiser S.,Hydrotox GmbH | Hafner C.,Hydrotox GmbH | Hercher C.,Hydrotox GmbH | Kronenberger-Schafer K.,Hydrotox GmbH | Paschke A.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2010

Background, aim and scope: The applicability of the Whole Effluent Assessment concept for the proof of compliance with the "best available techniques" has been analysed with paper mill wastewater from Germany by considering its persistency (P), potentially bio-accumulative substances (B) and toxicity (T). Materials and methods: Twenty wastewater samples from 13 paper mills using different types of cellulose fibres as raw materials have been tested in DIN or ISO standardised bioassays: the algae, daphnia, luminescent bacteria, duckweed (Lemna), fish-egg and umu tests with lowest ineffective dilution (LID) as test result. The potentially bio-accumulative substances (PBS) were determined by solid-phase microextraction and referred to the reference compound 2,3-dimethylnaphthalene. Usually, a primary chemical-physical treatment of the wastewater was followed by a single or multi-stage biological treatment. One indirectly discharged wastewater sample was pre-treated biologically in the Zahn-Wellens test before determining its ecotoxicity. Results: No toxicity or genotoxicity at all was detected in the acute daphnia and fish egg as well as the umu assay. In the luminescent bacteria test, moderate toxicity (up to LIDlb = 6) was observed. Wastewater of four paper mills demonstrated elevated or high algae toxicity (up to LIDA = 128), which was in line with the results of the Lemna test, which mostly was less sensitive than the algae test (up to LIDDW = 8). One indirectly discharged wastewater sample was biodegraded in the Zahn-Wellens test by 96% and was not toxic after this treatment. Low levels of PBS have been detected (median 3.27 mmol L-1). The colouration of the wastewater samples in the visible band did not correlate with algae toxicity and thus is not considered as its primary origin. Further analysis with a partial wastewater stream from thermomechanically produced groundwood pulp (TMP) revealed no algae or luminescent bacteria toxicity after pre-treatment of the sample in the Zahn-Wellens test (chemical oxygen demand elimination 85% in 7 days). Thus, the algae toxicity of the respective paper mill cannot be explained with the TMP partial stream; presumably other raw materials such as biocides might be the source of algae toxicity. Discussion: Comparative data from wastewater surveillance of authorities confirmed the range of ecotoxicity observed in the study. Wastewater from paper mills generally has no or a moderate ecotoxicity (median LID 1 and 2) while the maximum LID values, especially for the algae and daphnia tests, are considerably elevated (LIDA up to 128, LIDD up to 48). Conclusions: Wastewater from paper mills generally is low to moderately ecotoxic to aquatic organisms in acute toxicity tests. Some samples show effects in the chronic algae growth inhibition test which cannot be explained exclusively with colouration of the samples. The origin of elevated algae ecotoxicity could not be determined. In the algae test, often flat dose-response relationships and growth promotion at higher dilution factors have been observed, indicating that several effects are overlapping. Recommendations and perspectives: At least one bioassay should be included in routine wastewater control of paper mills because the paper manufacturing industry is among the most water consuming. Although the algae test was the most sensitive test, it might not be the most appropriate test because of the complex relationship of colouration and inhibition and the smooth dose-effect relationship or even promotion of algae growth often observed. The Lemna test would be a suitable method which also detects inhibitors of photosynthesis and is not disturbed by wastewater colouration. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Knobel M.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Busser F.J.M.,University Utrecht | Rico-Rico A.,University Utrecht | Kramer N.I.,University Utrecht | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2012

The zebrafish embryo toxicity test has been proposed as an alternative for the acute fish toxicity test, which is required by various regulations for environmental risk assessment of chemicals. We investigated the reliability of the embryo test by probing organic industrial chemicals with a wide range of physicochemical properties, toxicities, and modes of toxic action. Moreover, the relevance of using measured versus nominal (intended) exposure concentrations, inclusion of sublethal endpoints, and different exposure durations for the comparability with reported fish acute toxicity was explored. Our results confirm a very strong correlation of zebrafish embryo to fish acute toxicity. When toxicity values were calculated based on measured exposure concentrations, the slope of the type II regression line was 1 and nearly passed through the origin (1 to 1 correlation). Measured concentrations also explained several apparent outliers. Neither prolonged exposure (up to 120 h) nor consideration of sublethal effects led to a reduced number of outliers. Yet, two types of compounds were less lethal to embryos than to adult fish: a neurotoxic compound acting via sodium channels (permethrin) and a compound requiring metabolic activation (allyl alcohol). © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Gartiser S.,Hydrotox GmbH | Hafner C.,Hydrotox GmbH | Kronenberger-Schafer K.,Hydrotox GmbH | Happel O.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2012

Many pharmaceuticals and related metabolites are not efficiently removed in sewage treatment plants and enter into surface water. There, they might be subject of drinking water abstraction and treatment by ozonation. In this study, a systematic approach for producing and effect-based testing of transformation products (TPs) during the drinking water ozonation process is proposed. For this, two pharmaceutical parent substances, three metabolites and one environmental degradation product were investigated with respect to their biodegradability and fate during drinking water ozonation. The Ames test (TA98, TA100) was used for the identification of mutagenic activity present in the solutions after testing inherent biodegradability and/or after ozonation of the samples. Suspicious results were complemented with the umu test. Due to the low substrate concentration required for ozonation, all ozonated samples were concentrated via solid phase extraction (SPE) before performing the Ames test. With the exception of piracetam, all substances were only incompletely biodegradable, suggesting the formation of stable TPs. Metformin, piracetam and guanylurea could not be removed completely by the ozonation process. We received some evidence that technical TPs are formed by ozonation of metformin and piracetam, whereas all tested metabolites were not detectable by analytical means after ozonation. In the case of guanylurea, one ozonation TP was identified by LC/MS. None of the experiments showed an increase of mutagenic effects in the Ames test. However, the SPE concentration procedure might lead to false-positive results due to the generation of mutagenic artefacts or might lead to false-negative results by missing adequate recovery efficiency. Thus, these investigations should always be accompanied by process blank controls that are carried out along the whole ozonation and SPE procedure. The study presented here is a first attempt to investigate the significance of transformation products by a systematic approach. However, the adequacy and sensitivity of the methodology need to be further investigated. The approach of combining biodegradation and ozonation with effect-based assays is a promising tool for the early detection of potential hazards from TPs as drinking water contaminants. It can support the strategy for the evaluation of substances and metabolites in drinking water. A multitude of possible factors which influence the results have to be carefully considered, among them the selectivity and sensibility of the mutagenicity test applied, the extraction method for concentrating the relevant compounds and the biocompatibility of the solvent. Therefore, the results have to be carefully interpreted, and possible false-negative and false-positive results should be considered. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Hahn S.,Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine | Schneider K.,Research and Advisory Institute for Hazardous Substances GmbH FoBiG | Gartiser S.,Hydrotox GmbH | Heger W.,German Federal Environmental Agency | Mangelsdorf I.,Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine
Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source | Year: 2010

Background. Products containing biocides are used for a variety of purposes in the home environment. To assess potential health risks, data on products containing biocides were gathered by means of a market survey, exposures were estimated using a worst case scenario approach (screening), the hazard of the active components were evaluated, and a preliminary risk assessment was conducted. Methods. Information on biocide-containing products was collected by on-site research, by an internet inquiry as well as research into databases and lists of active substances. Twenty active substances were selected for detailed investigation. The products containing these substances were subsequently classified by range of application; typical concentrations were derived. Potential exposures were then estimated using a worst case scenario approach according to the European Commission's Technical Guidance Document on Risk Assessment. Relevant combinations of scenarios and active substances were identified. The toxicological data for these substances were compiled in substance dossiers. For estimating risks, the margins of exposure (MOEs) were determined. Results. Numerous consumer products were found to contain biocides. However, it appeared that only a limited number of biocidal active substances or groups of biocidal active substances were being used. The lowest MOEs for dermal exposure or exposure by inhalation were obtained for the following scenarios and biocides: indoor pest control using sprays, stickers or evaporators (chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos) and spraying of disinfectants as well as cleaning of surfaces with concentrates (hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde, glutardialdehyde). The risk from aggregate exposure to individual biocides via different exposure scenarios was higher than the highest single exposure on average by a factor of three. From the 20 biocides assessed 10 had skin-sensitizing properties. The biocides isothiazolinone (mixture of 5-chloro-2-methyl-2H-isothiazolin-3-one and 2-methyl-2H-isothiazolin-3-one, CMI/MI), glutardialdehyde, formaldehyde and chloroacetamide may be present in household products in concentrations which have induced sensitization in experimental studies. Conclusions. Exposure to biocides from household products may contribute to induction of sensitization in the population. The use of biocides in consumer products should be carefully evaluated. Detailed risk assessments will become available within the framework of the EU Biocides Directive. © 2010 Hahn et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


A concept for determining the anaerobic biodegradability of high-concentrated wastewater (HCW) by means of a semibatch-method based on DIN EN ISO 21734 is proposed. The TOC of the HCW investigated was 15000-25000 mg/L. At higher test concentrations, as intended, inhibition effects were observed. In order to avoid these, a semibatch-method was applied by dosing 1 % HCW over 5 weeks into the flasks. Hereby, the hydraulic load was similar to that of the technical digestion tower. After the last dosing the flasks were further incubated until the digestion gas production was negligible. After the anaerobic pre-treatment the HCW was precipitated and aerobically biodegraded in the Zahn-Wellens test. The anaerobic biodegradation of the HCW was 79 % based on the production of digestion gas. The magnitude was confirmed by a rough estimate of the carbon balance of the digestion tower. The concept allows a cost-effective determination of the anaerobic and aerobic degradation potential of liquid substrates during the co-fermentation.


Gartiser S.,Hydrotox GmbH | Flach F.,Hydrotox GmbH | Nickel C.,Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology e.V. | Stintz M.,TU Dresden | And 4 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2014

The fate assessment of nanomaterials in municipal sewage treatment plants (STP) is a crucial step for their environmental risk assessment and may be assessed by monitoring full scale STP, dosage to medium scale pilot STP or by laboratory testing. For regulatory purposes preferably standardised test protocols such as the OECD guidelines for testing of chemicals should be used. However, these test protocols have not yet been specifically designed for nanoparticles. Therefore, the fate and behavior of a TiO2 nanomaterial (P25, average hydrodynamic diameter <250nm) was investigated in laboratory sewage treatment plants according to the OECD Guideline for the Testing of Chemicals 303 A. It is concluded that this guideline is applicable for the testing of nanomaterials if modifications regarding the dosage, nitrifying conditions, and a characterisation of the nanoparticles in the effluent are applied. A compilation of the cumulative mass balance by comparison of the total dosage added with the amount in the outflow and in the activated sludge is recommended. In this study, the majority of the TiO2 nanomaterial (>95%) was retained in the sewage sludge and only 3-4% was found in the effluent. No effect of the TiO2 nanomaterials on the biodegradation or nitrification was observed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Hafner C.,Hydrotox GmbH | Gartiser S.,Hydrotox GmbH | Garcia-Kaufer M.,Hydrotox GmbH | Garcia-Kaufer M.,RWTH Aachen | And 9 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

River sediments may contain a huge variety of environmental contaminants and play a key role in the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. Contaminants adsorbed to sediments and suspended solids may contribute directly or after remobilization to an adverse ecological and chemical status of surface water. In this subproject of the joint research project DanTox, acetonic Soxhlet extracts from three German river sediments from the River Rhine (Altrip and Ehrenbreitstein with moderate contamination) and River Elbe (Veringkanal Hamburg heavily contaminated) were prepared and redissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). These extracts were analyzed with a standard bioassay battery with organisms from different trophic levels (bacteria, algae, Daphnia, fish) as well as in the Ames test and the umuC test for bacterial mutagenicity and genotoxicity according to the respective OECD and ISO guidelines. In total, 0.01 % (standard) up to 0.25 % (only fish embryo test) of the DMSO sediment extract was dosed to the test systems resulting in maximum sediment equivalent concentrations (SEQ) of 2 up to 50 g l−1. The sediment of Veringkanal near Hamburg harbor was significantly more toxic in most tests compared to the sediment extracts from Altrip and Ehrenbreitstein from the River Rhine. The most toxic effect found for Veringkanal was in the algae test with an ErC50 (72 h) of 0.00226 g l−1 SEQ. Ehrenbreitstein and Altrip samples were about factor 1,000 less toxic. In the Daphnia, Lemna, and acute fish toxicity tests, no toxicity at all was found at 2 g l−1 SEQ. corresponding to 0.01 % DMSO. Only when increasing the DMSO concentration the fish embryo test showed a 22-fold higher toxicity for Veringkanal than for Ehrenbreitstein and Altrip samples, while the toxicity difference was less evident for the Daphnia test due to the overlaying solvent toxicity above 0.05 % dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The higher toxicities observed with the Veringkanal sample are supported by the PAH and PCB concentrations analyzed in the sediments. The sediment extracts of Altrip and Veringkanal were mutagenic in the Ames tester strain TA98 with metabolic activation (S9-mix). The findings allow a better ecotoxicological characterization of the sediments extensively analyzed in all subprojects of the DanTox project (e.g., Garcia-Kaeufer et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res. doi:10.1007/s11356-014-3894-4, 2014; Schiwy et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res. doi:10.1007/s11356-014-3185-0, 2014; Hollert and Keiter 2015). In the absence of agreed limit values for sediment extracts in standard tests, further data with unpolluted reference sediments are required for a quantitative risk assessment of the investigated polluted sediments. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


PubMed | University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil, BAM Federal Institute of Materials Research and Testing, Federal Environment Agency, Hydrotox GmbH and ToxRat Solutions GmbH
Type: | Journal: Chemosphere | Year: 2017

The European Construction Products Regulation allows Member States to adopt rules for evaluating the environmental impact of their buildings. The aim of the project was to develop recommendations for a test battery for the ecotoxicological assessment of the environmental impact of construction products for outdoor use and contribute to the European harmonization of test methods. From a shortlist of 39 products 20 products were included in the ecotoxicological testing program. Monolithic and plate-like construction products were eluted in the Dynamic Surface Leaching test (DSLT) in accordance with CEN/TS 16637-2, granular products were eluted in a one stage batch test in accordance with DIN EN 12457-1. The eluates were examined in four aquatic toxicity tests (algae, daphnia, luminescent bacteria, fish eggs), a genotoxicity test (umu test) and in the respirometer test (OECD 301F). Here, low to very high ecotoxicity was observed (up to a dilution factor of 1536). Six out of 8 eluates, whose TOC exceeded 10mgL


PubMed | TU Dresden, RWTH Aachen, Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology e.V., Hydrotox GmbH and Universitatsklinikum Heidelberg
Type: | Journal: Chemosphere | Year: 2014

The fate assessment of nanomaterials in municipal sewage treatment plants (STP) is a crucial step for their environmental risk assessment and may be assessed by monitoring full scale STP, dosage to medium scale pilot STP or by laboratory testing. For regulatory purposes preferably standardised test protocols such as the OECD guidelines for testing of chemicals should be used. However, these test protocols have not yet been specifically designed for nanoparticles. Therefore, the fate and behavior of a TiO2 nanomaterial (P25, average hydrodynamic diameter <250 nm) was investigated in laboratory sewage treatment plants according to the OECD Guideline for the Testing of Chemicals 303 A. It is concluded that this guideline is applicable for the testing of nanomaterials if modifications regarding the dosage, nitrifying conditions, and a characterisation of the nanoparticles in the effluent are applied. A compilation of the cumulative mass balance by comparison of the total dosage added with the amount in the outflow and in the activated sludge is recommended. In this study, the majority of the TiO2 nanomaterial (>95%) was retained in the sewage sludge and only 3-4% was found in the effluent. No effect of the TiO2 nanomaterials on the biodegradation or nitrification was observed.

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