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Ecotoxicology and environmental safety

Effects of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) on the avoidance response, survival, growth and reproduction of earthworms (Eisenia fetida).


PMID 23312040

Abstract

The effects of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) on avoidance response, survival, growth, and reproduction of earthworms (Eisenia fetida) were investigated under laboratory conditions using natural and artificial soils as substrate. Results showed that no significant avoidance response was observed when earthworms were exposed to 0.1-1000 mg/kg of BDE-209 for 48 h. After 28-days exposure, no significant effects on survival and growth of adult earthworms was induced by 0.1-1000 mg/kg of BDE-209 indicating the Lowest Observed Effect Level (LOEL) of BDE-209 on their survival and body weight was more than 1000 mg/kg. Except for a significant decrease in the number of juveniles per hatched cocoon in artificial soils at 1000 mg/kg of BDE-209, no significant effects on reproductive parameters (e.g. cocoon production per earthworms, weight per cocoon and cocoon hatchability) were observed. These results suggest that adult earthworms have a strong tolerance for BDE-209 exposure in soils, but a potential toxicity does exist for earthworm embryos or juveniles.

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