Studies of industrial effluent toxicity usually focus on a single contaminant, such as an environmental or marine pollutant, a potential carcinogen, or a toxic heavy metal. However, according to Tatjana Tišler of the National Institute of Chemistry, in Ljubljana, and Jana Zagorc-Koncan of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, toxicity tests of effluent using bacteria generally underestimate the total toxicity.
Effluents from industrial or municipal sources may contain hundreds to thousands of chemicals, but only a few are responsible for aquatic toxicity. Simply adding together the individual toxicities of each chemical present is not a reliable way to predict the total toxicity of effluent, the researchers say. An underestimation of whole-effluent toxicity could have seriously detrimental effects on the marine environment.
The researchers point out that the prediction of waste water toxicity usually does not take into account any possible interactions between the compounds in the wastewater sample. The presence of a particular chemical may make another more easily absorbed by aquatic creatures or plants, for instance. Moreover, some highly toxic chemicals may go undetected in a complex waste water mixture.
By testing waste water samples from a tannery, a pharmaceutical plant, and a chemical factory, the researchers were able to demonstrate the presence of key toxic chemicals in the samples and their toxic effects on bacteria, algae, daphnids and fish. Their tests demonstrated a higher toxicity of the whole sample compared with tests carried out on individual pollutants. "Our results obtained clearly demonstrate the importance of using the ‘whole-effluent’ toxicity approach for a reliable assessment of wastewater quality," the researchers say.
Jim Corlett | alfa
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering