Publication details

The use of classical ecotoxicological biotests for testing of special (hospital) waste waters



Year of publication 2005
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference ECOTOX 2005 Advances and Trends in Ecotoxikology, Book of abstracts
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Environment influence on health
Keywords ecotoxicity; waste water; pharmaceuticals
Description Relatively little is known about the ecotoxicity of hospital waste waters. A lot of administrated pharmaceuticals are excreted non-metabolized or their metabolites are toxic. Traditional treatment of the hospital waste waters includes mostly desinfectional processes such as chlorination. Minor attention is given to the removal of possible toxic chemicals present in this matrix (pharmaceuticals, disinfectants etc.). In this contribution we present results from testing the applicability of various standard ecotoxicological test systems for assessment of toxicity of various hospital waste waters. The water samples were collected in different parts of the sewer system with respect to sources of different toxicants and dilution in waste water ducts (sewage water, infectious waste water, waste water from the oncology department). Toxicity was investigated with a series of ecotoxicological biotests (inhibition of Vibrio fisheri luminescence, immobilisation of Daphnia magna, growth inhibition of Raphidocelis subcapicata algae, growth inhibition of Pseudomonas putida). Genotoxic potential was determined with SOS-chromotest bacterial bioassay. Toxic and genotoxic effects were found in all the samples. Different results were found for different methods of sample treatment before testing (filtered and non-filtered) and for samples stored for different time periods. Due to the complexity of the wastewater composition, no specific agent can be marked as the main reason for the observed toxic response. These results indicate that both research and regulatory activities should not overlook monitoring of chemicals present in hospital wastes.
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