Environmental toxicity of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) - MicrotoxTM and Spontaneous Locomotor Changes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearch

After the 2nd World War the CWAs were prohibited by law and 11,000 tonnes of toxic agents were dumped in the Bornholm Basin east of Bornholm. The dumped chemical munitions have not reached attention from politicians and scientists until recently. During earlier projects, such as MERCW (2005-2008) and CHEMSEA (2011-2014), the area has been screened for the presence of parent compounds and metabolites including the concentrations they are found in. The majority of the detected compounds has been found in the sediment and a minor part in the pore water. The (eco)toxicity of these compounds remain to be illuminated in which this study hopefully will contribute to. Especially, chronic toxicity needs to be described as this mimics a more environmentally realistic situation. One or two compounds will be accessed based upon various factors such as detection frequencies, found concentrations in both sediment and pore water, acute toxicity and physicochemical properties. Besides the mentioned evaluation factors, Sulphur mustard (Yperite) degradation products will have emphasis as the majority of the dumped CWAs is the sulphur mustard gas. The chronic toxicity will be described by spontaneous locomotor changes in Zebrafish (Danio rerio). The CTDB database and Zebrafish gene collection reveals that genes associated with locomotion interacts with some of the found parent and degradation compounds of CWAs; even though the locomotion is a complex out of an array of genes. This study intends to draw lines to the commercially important cod (Gadus morrhua). The cod migrates down to the seafloor – even crossing the oxycline - where the CWA munitions were dumped. To sum up, this study will obtain novel ecotoxicity data on recently discovered degradation products and assess the potential threat to the commercially important cod (Gadus morrhua). This study is a part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) project “Towards the Monitoring of Dumped Munitions Threat” (MODUM).
Original languageEnglish
Publication year23 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2016
EventSETAC, Nantes - Nantes
Duration: 22 May 201626 May 2016


ConferenceSETAC, Nantes

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