Chlorine (Cl) is a highly toxic, widely used halogen disinfectant that is present in point-source pollution discharges from wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency freshwater criteria for Cl are 19 ??g total residual Cl (TRC)/L as a maximum 1-h average concentration and 11 ??g TRC/L as a maximum 4-d average; however, toxicological data for unionids were not used in these calculations. To address this void in the data, we conducted acute tests with glochidia from several species and 21-d bioassays with three-month-old Epioblasma capsaeformis and three-, six-, and 12-month-old Villosa iris juveniles. The 24-h lethal concentration 50 values for glochidia were between 70 and 220 ??g TRC/L, which are 2.5 to 37 times higher than those reported in other studies for cladocerans. Significant declines in growth and survivorship were observed in the 21-d test with E. capsaeformis at 20 ??g TRC/L. Lowest-observed-adverse- effects concentrations in bioassays with juvenile V. iris were higher (30-60 ??g TRC/L) but showed a significant trend of declining toxicity with increased age. Although endpoints were above water quality criteria, the long life spans of unionids and potential implications of chronic exposure to endangered juvenile mussels still warrant concern. ?? 2006 SETAC.
Additional publication details
Chlorine toxicity to early life stages of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae)