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Environmental science and pollution research international

Joint action and lethal levels of toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene on midge (Chironomus plumosus) larvae.


PMID 23354551

Abstract

Aquatic ecosystems are vulnerable to the exposure with petrochemicals such as toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (o-, m-, and p-xylene) (TEX) and their adverse effects. Considering the widespread use, occurrence, and high toxicity of TEX, the aim of this work was to investigate the differential toxicity of TEX against midge (Chironomus plumosus) larvae and reveal the joint action of binary and ternary mixtures of TEX using the predictive concentration addition model. More importantly, this research can afford the basic toxicity data and scientific reference for the establishment of water quality criteria or benchmark, water pollution control, and aquatic risk assessment. Single and joint toxic effects of TEX on C. plumosus larvae were investigated using a semi-static bioassay, and the type of joint effects of TEX was ascertained. In the single toxicant experiments, the toxicity of the three pollutants could be sequenced as ethylbenzene > xylene > toluene. Specifically, LC(50s) of T, E, and X after a 48-h exposure were 64.9, 37.8, and 42.0 mg/L, respectively. In the binary mixture experiments, the interaction between toluene and ethylbenzene, ethylbenzene and xylene, and toluene and xylene was largely in conformity with partial additive or additive effect as determined by isobologram representation and toxic unit models. In the ternary mixture experiments, the interaction was basically dependent on the use of additive index and mixture toxicity index methods. However, the antagonistic and synergistic actions were not significant. Thus, the tertiary mixture interaction could be regarded as additive action. The concentration addition model could successfully predict the joint action of TEX mixtures on C. plumosus larvae. Particularly, the additive action of TEX on C. plumosus larvae can be further recommended to evaluate water quality criteria of TEX.

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