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Chemosphere

Mixture toxicity of six sulfonamides and their two transformation products to green algae Scenedesmus vacuolatus and duckweed Lemna minor.


PMID 28135683

Abstract

Since humans and ecosystems are continually exposed to a very complex and permanently changing mixture of chemicals, there is increasing concern in the general public about the potential adverse effects they may cause. Among all "emerging pollutants", pharmaceuticals in particular have raised great environmental concern. For these reasons the aim of our study was to evaluate the mixture toxicity of six antimicrobial sulfonamides (SAs) and their two most commonly identified degradation products - sulfanilic acid (SNA) and sulfanilamide (SN) - to limnic green algae Scenedesmus vacuolatus and duckweed Lemna minor. The ecotoxicological data for the single toxicity of SNA and SN towards selected organisms are presented. The concept of Concentration Addition (CA) was applied to estimate the effects, and less than additive effects were observed. In general terms, it seems sufficiently precautionary for the aquatic environment to consider the toxicity of a sulfonamide mixture as additive. The Concentration Addition model proves to be a reasonable worst-case estimation. Such a comparative study on the mixture toxicity of sulfonamides and their transformation products has been presented for the first time.

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