Nautilus Environmental

San Diego, CA, United States

Nautilus Environmental

San Diego, CA, United States
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McDonald B.G.,Golder Associates | deBruyn A.M.,Golder Associates | Elphick J.R.,Nautilus Environmental | Davies M.,Hatfield Consultants | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2010

Gametes were collected from Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) from waterbodies in a region exposed to mining-related selenium (Se) releases in British Columbia, Canada. Fertilized eggs were incubated in a laboratory and deformities were assessed on newly-hatched alevins using a graduated severity index. No effects were observed on egg or alevin survival or larval weight across the studied exposure range of 5.4 to 66 mg/kg dry weight in egg. Length of some larvae was reduced at the highest egg Se concentrations and a clear residue-response relationship was observed for larval deformity. The egg concentration corresponding to a 10% increase in the frequency of deformity (EC10) was 54 mg/kg dry weight, which is substantially higher than reported for other cold-water fish species. © 2010 SETAC.


Elphick J.R.,Nautilus Environmental | Bergh K.D.,Rescan Environmental Services | Bailey H.C.,Nautilus Environmental
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2011

Toxicity tests using nine freshwater species (Ceriodaphnia dubia, Daphnia magna, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Pimephales promelas, Lumbriculus variegatus, Tubifex tubifex, Chironomus dilutus, Hyallela azteca, and Brachionus calyciflorus) were conducted to evaluate their sensitivity to chloride. Acute-to-chronic ratios (ACRs) from these tests indicate the ACR of 7.59 employed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in deriving its water quality guideline for chloride may be conservative; a revised ACR of 3.50 is presented here. The endpoints used to calculate the ACR included 24-h to 96-h median lethal concentrations (LC50s) for acute tests, and 48-h to 54-d inhibition concentration (ICx) values for growth or reproduction for chronic exposures. Data from the present chronic toxicity tests, and other investigators, were used to propose a water quality guideline for long-term exposure to chloride using a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) approach. The 5th percentile from the SSD was calculated as 307 mg/L and proposed as the water quality guideline. Cladocerans were the most sensitive species in the dataset. Ceriodaphnia dubia was used to evaluate the relationship between water hardness and sensitivity to chloride. A strong relationship was observed and was used to establish a hardness-related equation to modify the proposed water quality guideline on the basis of water hardness, resulting in values ranging from 64 mg/L chloride at 10 mg/L hardness to 388 mg/L chloride at 160 mg/L hardness (as CaCO3). These data suggest that current water quality guidelines for chloride may be overly conservative in water with moderate-to-high hardness, and may not be sufficiently protective under soft-water conditions. © 2010 SETAC.


PubMed | Physis Analytical Laboratory and Nautilus Environmental
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental toxicology and chemistry | Year: 2016

Sediment toxicity identification evaluations (TIEs) are conducted to determine causes of adverse effects observed in whole-sediment toxicity tests. However, in multiple contaminant scenarios, it is problematic to partition contributions of individual contaminants to overall toxicity. Using data from a site with multiple inputs and contaminants of concern, the authors describe a quantitative approach for the TIE process by tracking toxicity units to determine whether all toxicity is accounted for. The initial step established the level of toxicity associated with the whole sediment and then partitioned sources of toxicity into general contaminant classes (e.g., ammonia, metals, nonpolar organic compounds). In this case, toxicity was largely the result of nonpolar organics, so the sediments were extracted and the extracts added back into dilution water and tested to confirm recovery of toxicity. Individual fractions were then generated using a solvent gradient and tested for toxicity. Fractions of interest were evaluated with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify specific constituents associated with toxicity. Toxicity units associated with these constituents were then evaluated to determine probable associations with cause and whether all toxicity was accounted for. The data indicated that toxicity was associated with 2 contaminant classes, representing legacy compounds and contaminants of emerging concern, with the contribution of each varying across the site. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2456-2465. 2016 SETAC.


Slaughter E.,San Diego State University | Gersberg R.M.,San Diego State University | Watanabe K.,San Diego State University | Rudolph J.,Nautilus Environmental | And 2 more authors.
Tobacco Control | Year: 2011

Background Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter, as an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are thrown away every year worldwide. Many chemical products are used during the course of growing tobacco and manufacturing cigarettes, the residues of which may be found in cigarettes prepared for consumption. Additionally, over 4000 chemicals may also be introduced to the environment via cigarette particulate matter (tar) and mainstream smoke. Methods Using US Environmental Protection Agency standard acute fish bioassays, cigarette butt-derived leachate was analysed for aquatic toxicity. Survival was the single endpoint and data were analysed using Comprehensive Environmental Toxicity Information System to identify the LC50 of cigarette butt leachate to fish. Results The LC50 for leachate from smoked cigarette butts (smoked filter + tobacco) was approximately one cigarette butt/l for both the marine topsmelt (Atherinops affinis) and the freshwater fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Leachate from smoked cigarette filters (no tobacco), was less toxic, with LC50 values of 1.8 and 4.3 cigarette butts/l, respectively for both fish species. Unsmoked cigarette filters (no tobacco) were also found to be toxic, with LC50 values of 5.1 and 13.5 cigarette butts/l, respectively, for both fish species. Conclusion Toxicity of cigarette butt leachate was found to increase from unsmoked cigarette filters (no tobacco) to smoked cigarette filters (no tobacco) to smoked cigarette butts (smoked filter + tobacco). This study represents the first in the literature to investigate and affirm the toxicity of cigarette butts to fish, and will assist in assessing the potential ecological risks of cigarette butts to the aquatic environment.


Brown J.S.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project | Sutula M.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project | Stransky C.,Nautilus Environmental | Rudolph J.,Nautilus Environmental | Byron E.,CH2M HILL
Journal of the American Water Resources Association | Year: 2010

Wetlands provide many critical functions in urban ecosystems, including habitat for wetlanddependent fauna and enhancement of water quality. Interest in restoring or creating wetlands to enhance these functions is increasing due to the scale and extent of wetland loss and water quality problems associated with urbanization. One of the most pressing questions associated with urban wetland restoration is the extent to which urban wetlands tend to concentrate contaminants, and if so, whether an associated risk to wildlife exists. The goal of this study was to better understand these potential risks, and the associated tradeoffs with using wetlands to treat urban runoff. Sediment toxicity, contaminant chemistry, and macroinvertebrate (MI) community metrics were measured in 21 southern California wetlands that receive urban runoff as their primary water source. MI organisms in 18 of the 21 urban wetlands examined were considered to be at risk due to sediment contaminant concentrations and toxicity. Most of the sites were either toxic to the amphipod Hyalella azteca, exceeded a sediment quality guideline, or both. Sediment chemistry and toxicity identification evaluation studies suggest that pyrethroid pesticides may have been responsible for much of the toxicity documented in this study. The mean Probable Effects Concentration quotient (an index of degree of sediment contamination) was found to negatively correlate with MI diversity in these wetlands suggesting that toxicity was affecting organisms at the base of the food chain in these wetlands. © 2010 American Water Resources Association.


Pearcy K.,Nautilus Environmental | Elphick J.,Nautilus Environmental | Burnett-Seidel C.,Cameco Corporation
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2015

The present study was performed to investigate the toxicity of fluoride to a variety of freshwater aquatic organisms and to establish whether water quality variables contribute substantively to modifying its toxicity. Water hardness, chloride, and alkalinity were tested as possible toxicity modifying factors for fluoride using acute toxicity tests with Hyalella azteca and Oncorhynchus mykiss. Chloride appeared to be the major toxicity modifying factor for fluoride in these acute toxicity tests. The chronic toxicity of fluoride was evaluated with a variety of species, including 3 fish (Pimephales promelas, O. mykiss, and Salvelinus namaycush), 3 invertebrates (Ceriodaphnia dubia, H. azteca, and Chironomus dilutus), 1 plant (Lemna minor), and 1 alga (Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata). Hyalella azteca was the most sensitive species overall, and O. mykiss was the most sensitive species of fish. The role of chloride as a toxicity modifying factor was inconsistent between species in the chronic toxicity tests. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;34:1642-1648. © 2015 SETAC.


Marlatt V.L.,Nautilus Environmental | Sun J.,University of New Brunswick | Curran C.A.,Nautilus Environmental | Bailey H.C.,Nautilus Environmental | And 3 more authors.
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2014

Environmental estrogens (EE) are ubiquitous in many aquatic environments and biological responses to EEs in early developmental stages of salmonids are poorly understood compared to juvenile and adult stages. Using 17β-estradiol (E2) as a model estrogen, waterborne exposures were conducted on early life stage rainbow trout (. Oncorhynchus mykiss; egg, alevin, swim-up fry) and both molecular and physiological endpoints were measured to quantify the effects of E2. To investigate developmental stage-specific effects, laboratory exposures of 1. μg/L E2 were initiated pre-hatching as eyed embryos or post-hatching upon entering the alevin stage. High mortality (~90%) was observed when E2 exposures were initiated at the eyed embryo stage compared to the alevin stage (~35% mortality), demonstrating stage-specific sensitivity. Gene expression analyses revealed that vitellogenin was detectable in the liver of swim-up fry, and was highly inducible by 1. μg/L E2 (>200-fold higher levels compared to control animals). Experiments also confirmed the induction of vitellogenin protein levels in protein extracts isolated from head and tail regions of swim-up fry after E2 exposure. These findings suggest that induction of vitellogenin, a well-characterized biomarker for estrogenic exposure, can be informative measured at this early life stage. Several other genes of the reproductive endocrine axis (e.g. estrogen receptors and androgen receptors) exhibited decreased expression levels compared to control animals. In addition, chronic exposure to E2 during the eyed embryo and alevin stages resulted in suppressive effects on growth related genes (growth hormone receptors, insulin-like growth factor 1) as well as premature hatching, suggesting that the somatotropic axis is a key target for E2-mediated developmental and growth disruptions. Combining molecular biomarkers with morphological and physiological changes in early life stage salmonids holds considerable promise for further defining estrogen action during development, and for assessing the impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals in vivo in teleosts. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Martyniuk C.J.,University of New Brunswick | Alvarez S.,Donald Danforth Plant Science Center | Lo B.P.,Nautilus Environmental | Elphick J.R.,Nautilus Environmental | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Proteome Research | Year: 2012

Endocrine disruptors that act via the androgen receptor (AR) are less well studied than environmental estrogens, and there is evidence that treatment with AR agonists can result in masculinization of female fish. In this study, female fathead minnows (FHM) were exposed to the model nonaromatizable androgen 5-alpha dihydrotestosterone (DHT) (100 μg/L), the ureic-based herbicide linuron (LIN) (100 μg/L), and a mixture of DHT and LIN (100 μg/L each) to better characterize androgen action in females. LIN was used because of reports that this chemical has an antiandrogenic mode of action in fish. After 21d, DHT and LIN treatments resulted in a significant depression of plasma vitellogenin (Vtg) and DHT and DHT + LIN increased the prevalence of nuptial tubercles in female FHMs indicating masculinization. Using iTRAQ and an LTQ Orbitrap Velos, ∼2000 proteins were identified in the FHM liver and the number of proteins quantified after exposures was >1200. Proteins that significantly and consistently changed in abundance across biological replicates included prostaglandin E synthase 3, programmed cell death 4a, glutathione S transferases, canopy, selenoprotein U, and ribosomal proteins. Subnetwork enrichment analysis identified that interferon and epidermal growth factor signaling were regulated by DHT and LIN, suggesting that these signaling pathways are correlated to depressed plasma vitellogenin. These data provide novel insight into hepatic protein networks that are associated with the process of masculinization in teleosts. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Elphick J.R.,Nautilus Environmental | Davies M.,Hatfield Consultants | Gilron G.,Teck Resources Ltd | Canaria E.C.,Nautilus Environmental | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2011

Elevated concentrations of sulfate occur commonly in anthropogenically impacted and natural waters. However, water quality guidelines (WQG) have not been developed in many jurisdictions, and chronic toxicity data are scarce for this anion. A variety of test organisms, including species of invertebrate, fish, algae, moss, and an amphibian, were tested for chronic toxicity to develop a robust dataset that could be used to develop WQGs. As an example of how these data might be used to establish guidelines, calculations were performed using two standard procedures: a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) approach, following methods employed in developing Canadian WQGs, and a safety factor approach, according to procedures typically used in the development of provincial WQGs in British Columbia. The interaction of sulfate toxicity and water hardness was evaluated and incorporated into the calculations, resulting in separate values for soft (10-40 mg/L), moderately hard (80-100 mg/L) and hard water (160-250 mg/L). The resulting values were 129, 644, and 725 mg/L sulfate, respectively, following the SSD approach, and 75, 625, and 675 mg/L sulfate, following the safety factor approach. © 2010 SETAC.


Chapman P.M.,Golder Associates | Elphick J.R.,Nautilus Environmental
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2015

Predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs), which represent the concentration of a substance below which an unacceptable effect most likely will not occur, are widely used for risk assessment and in environmental policy and regulation. They are typically based on single-species laboratory toxicity tests; often, a single test result for the most sensitive endpoints drives the derivation of a PNEC. In the present study, the authors provide a case study emphasizing the importance of determining the reliability of those most sensitive endpoints. Five 21-d Daphnia magna toxicity tests conducted using the same procedures by 2 laboratories gave 20% inhibitory concentration responses to a specific ionic composition of total dissolved solids that varied from 684mg/L to more than 1510mg/L. The concentration-response curve was shallow; thus, these differences could have been attributable to chance alone. The authors strongly recommend that the most sensitive endpoints that determine PNECs not be based on a single toxicity test result but rather on the geometric mean of at least 3 test results to adequately assess and bound test variability, especially when the concentration-response curve is shallow. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;34:1088-1090. © 2015 SETAC.

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