Acute toxicity of fire control chemicals to Daphnia magna(Straus) and Selenastrum capricornutum(Printz)

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
By: , and 



Acute toxicity tests were conducted exposingDaphnia magnaStraus (daphnid) in soft and hard reconstituted waters (hardness 42 and 162 mg/liter as CaCO3, respectively), andSelenastrum capricornutumPrintz (algae) in ASTM algal assay medium (hardness 15 mg/liter as CaCO3) to fire retardants Fire-Trol GTS-R, Fire-Trol LCG-R, and Phos-Chek D75-F, and foam suppressants Phos-Chek WD-881 and Silv-Ex. The chemicals were slightly toxic to practically harmless to daphnids and moderately toxic to algae. Water quality did not consistently alter the toxicity of the test chemicals to daphnids. The most toxic chemical to daphnids was Silv-Ex (48-hr EC507 mg/liter in soft and hard waters), whereas the least toxic chemical to daphnids was Fire-Trol LCG-R (48-hr EC50848 mg/liter in soft water, 813 mg/liter in hard water). The most toxic chemical to algae was Fire-Trol LCG-R (96-hr IC5010 mg/liter), and the least toxic chemical was Phos-Chek D75-F (96-hr IC5079 mg/liter). Un-ionized ammonia concentrations near the EC50or IC50value in tests with the Fire-Trol compounds were frequently equal to or above reported LC50un-ionized ammonia concentrations. Un-ionized ammonia concentrations in tests with Phos-Chek D75-F were low, thus other toxic components present in the compounds probably contributed to the toxicity. When compared to the daphnids tested in ASTM soft water, the Fire-Trol compounds were most toxic to algae, whereas Phos-Chek D75-F and the foam suppressants were most toxic to daphnids. The results of these tests are comparable to those obtained from research conducted in other laboratories with the same species and similar chemicals. Accidental entry of fire-fighting chemicals into aquatic environments could adversely affect algae and aquatic invertebrates, thus disrupting ecosystem function.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Acute toxicity of fire control chemicals to Daphnia magna(Straus) and Selenastrum capricornutum(Printz)
Series title Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
DOI 10.1006/eesa.1996.0007
Volume 33
Issue 1
Year Published 1996
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 11 p.
First page 62
Last page 72
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