Bioaccumulation occurs when fish or other organisms take in a substance faster than their bodies can break it down and eliminate it. If a substance can be bioaccumulated, even minute and seemingly harmless amounts in the water can build up to toxic amounts inside the body.
Ida Flores, who presented the results, pointed out that all existing evidence indicates that TCC does not bioaccumulate in humans and certain other mammals. The human body quickly breaks down, or metabolizes TCC, changing it into other substances that exit the body in urine and feces.
The new study, however, suggests that the situation may be different for fish. They encounter TCC, found mainly in bar soaps, in water that washes down the drain and flows out of sewage treatment facilities into lakes and streams with a small amount of the TCC intact.
Along with a related ingredient called triclosan, TCC has been the source of controversy in recent years. Studies suggested that TCC and triclosan are no better than ordinary soap in preventing the spread of disease, and showed that the two substances have the potential to disrupt the activity of reproductive hormones.
“Due to its widespread usage, TCC is present in small amounts in 60 percent of all rivers and streams in the United States,” said study leader Ida Flores, of the University of California-Davis. “Fish are commonly exposed to TCC, even though much of it is eliminated by wastewater treatment plants.” Despite that widespread distribution in the environment, Flores and colleagues were surprised that only a few studies had investigated TCC’s role in aquatic ecosystems.
“Some of those showed that TCC does accumulate in the environment, and this compelled us to look at the environmental effects of TCC on fish — not simply seeing how it accumulates in fish but also how it is processed and eliminated,” Flores explained.
To find out, they exposed one-week-old larvae of medaka fish, an approach often used in research of endocrine disrupting effects to amounts of TCC similar to those found in natural waterways, and analyzed how the fish metabolized TCC.
“The fish quickly accumulated TCC,” Flores said. “The levels of the TCC in the fish soon after exposure were about 1,000 times higher than the concentration in the water. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of uptake and metabolism of TCC in fish species. We found evidence of strong accumulation and also got details on exactly how TCC is metabolized in these animals.”
Flores explained that details of TCC’s metabolism are important because they play a key role in understanding the health and environmental effects of TCC.
“Unmetabolized compounds, such as dioxins, can’t be excreted from the body,” Flores noted. “Those that can be metabolized pose decreased health risks because they can be excreted. Our major concern is accumulation of TCC in the environment and impacts on ecology by its potential endocrine disrupting effects.”
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
Michael Bernstein | Newswise Science News
A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences