The presence of (±)α-pinene, (+)β-pinene, (+)3-carene, and R-(+)limonene terpenes in wastewater of a citrus transformation factory was detected and analyzed, in a previous study, by using Solid Phase Micro-extraction (SPME) followed by GC analyses. Purpose of that research was to compare the genotoxic responses of mixtures of terpenes with the genotoxicity of the individual compounds, and the biological effects of actual wastewater. Genotoxicity was evaluated in the Salmonella reversion assay (Ames test) and in V79 cells by Comet assay. Ames tests indicated that the four single terpenes did not induce an increase of revertants frequency. On the contrary, the mixtures of terpenes caused, in the presence of metabolic activation, a highly significant increase of the revertants in TA100 strain in comparison to the control. The Comet assay showed a significant increase in DNA damage in V79 cells treated for 1h with single or mixed terpenes. Moreover, the actual wastewater was found highly genotoxic in bacterial and mammalian cells. Photocatalytic tests completely photodegraded the pollutants present in aqueous wastewater and the initial high genotoxicity of samples of wastewater collected during the photocatalytic run, was completely lose in 3h of irradiation.
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