Toxicity and biouptake of lead and arsenic by Daphnia pulex

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Acute and chronic toxicity studies were conducted on Daphnia pulex using synthetic lead and arsenic water samples. For acute studies, solutions with 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 5.0 mg/L lead and arsenic along with a control were used. The chronic studies were conducted for 21 days using 0.25, 0.5, 1.0 mg/L lead and arsenic solutions along with a control. Results indicated that the LC50 (48 hour) was 4.0 and 3.4 mg/L for lead and arsenic, respectively. Results from chronic studies suggest that the exposure to lead solutions significantly (P < 0.05) impaired the reproduction rates of Daphnia at the 1 mg/L concentration. However, the reproduction rates were enhanced at low concentrations of arsenic (up to 0.5 mg/L). A second chronic study was conducted to confirm this finding. Results from the second study indicated that lead exhibited significantly higher (P < 0.05) toxicity at 0.5 mg/L concentration, while reproduction rates in all concentrations of arsenic solutions were not significantly different from the controls. Metal analysis on exposed Daphnia, following nitric acid digestion procedures, indicated that Daphnia bio-accumulated 75.3-97.2% of the lead added to the experimental containers. This high lead biouptake coupled with the fast growth, high reproduction rates, and short life cycle all suggest that a Daphnia-based remediation (growth and partial harvest) may a viable treatment alternative that is worth considering. However, further field studies have to be conducted to verify this alternative. Biouptake or sequestration by Daphnia of arsenic at all tested concentrations was negligible, thereby, suggesting selective uptake or sequestration by daphnia under the tested pH and temperature conditions.

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Journal of environmental science and health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous substances & environmental engineering

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