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Acute aquatic toxicity of sulfur mustard and its degradation products to Daphnia magna

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  • Michał Czub, Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Jakub Nawała, Military University of Technology Warsaw
  • ,
  • Stanisław Popiel, Military University of Technology Warsaw
  • ,
  • Daniel Dziedzic, Military University of Technology Warsaw
  • ,
  • Tomasz Brzeziński, University of Warsaw
  • ,
  • Piotr Maszczyk, University of Warsaw
  • ,
  • Hans Sanderson
  • Jacek Fabisiak, Polish Naval Academy
  • ,
  • Jacek Bełdowski, Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Lech Kotwicki, Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Sulphur mustard (HD) was the most widely produced chemical warfare agent (CWA) in the history of chemical warfare (CW). Simultaneously, the loads of HD account as by far the largest fraction of the sea-dumped CW. Nowadays its presence in the marine ecosystems recognized as a serious threat for marine users and maritime industries. Although, during over a decade of research much has been done to assess the environmental threats linked with underwater chemical munitions. There are, however, essential gaps in scientific knowledge including scarce information about the aquatic toxicity thresholds of HD and its degradation products. Standardized biotests were performed according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Test No. 202: Daphnia sp. Acute Immobilisation Test guidelines. Obtained results provide a solid foundation for comparison and categorisation of threats of HD and its degradation products. With the D. magna LC50 aquatic acute toxicity threshold at as low as 224 ± 12 μg × L−1, 1,2,5-trithiepane is very toxic, being one of the most toxic CWA degradation products that have been investigated up to date. It exhibits stronger effects than 1,4,5-oxadithiepane and diluted HD that turn out to be toxic. In total, the toxicity of 7 compounds has been estimated. Whenever possible, toxicity thresholds were compared with previously existing data originating from different biotests and mathematical modelling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105077
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • Aquatic environmental toxicity, Chemical warfare agents, CWA degradation Products, Sea dumped CWAs, Sulfur mustard

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