Chronic toxicities of Cl-, SO42-, and HCO3- to Ceriodaphnia dubia were evaluated in low- and moderate-hardness waters using a three-brood reproduction test method. Toxicity tests of anion mixtures were used to determine interaction effects and to produce models predicting C. dubia reproduction. Effluents diluted with low- and moderate-hardness waters were tested with animals acclimated to low- and moderate-hardness conditions to evaluate the models and to assess the effects of hardness and acclimation. Sulfate was significantly less toxic than Cl- and HCO3- in both types of water. Chloride and HCO3- toxicities were similar in low-hardness water, but HCO3- was the most toxic in moderate-hardness water. Low acute-to-chronic ratios indicate that toxicities of these anions will decrease quickly with dilution. Hardness significantly reduced Cl- and SO42- toxicity but had little effect on HCO3-. Chloride toxicity decreased with an increase in Na+ concentration, and CO3- toxicity may have been reduced by the dissolved organic carbon in effluent. Multivariate models using measured anion concentrations in effluents with low to moderate hardness levels provided fairly accurate predictions of reproduction. Determinations of toxicity for several effluents differed significantly depending on the hardness of the dilution water and the hardness of the water used to culture test animals. These results can be used to predict the contribution of elevated anion concentrations to the chronic toxicity of effluents; to identify effluents that are toxic due to contaminants other than Cl-, SO42-, and HCO3-; and to provide a basis for chemical substitutions in manufacturing processes.
Additional publication details
Observed and predicted reproduction of Ceriodaphnia dubia exposed to chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate