Oil dispersants increase the toxicity of diesel fuel to freshwater organisms. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Toxicity to freshwater organisms from oils and oil spill chemical treatments in laboratory microcosms.
Environ Pollut. 2003;122(2):205-15. PMID: 12531308
Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, PO Box 42451, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA.
Toxicity and temporal changes in toxicity of freshwater-marsh-microcosms containing South Louisiana Crude (SLC) or diesel fuel and treated with a cleaner or dispersant, were investigated using Chironomus tentans, Daphnia pulex, and Oryzias latipes. Bioassays used microcosm water (for D. pulex and O. latipes) or soil slurry (for C. tentans) taken 1,7, 31, and 186 days after treatment. SLC was less toxic than diesel, chemical additives enhanced oil toxicity, the dispersant was more toxic than the cleaner, and toxicities were greatly reduced by day 186. Toxicities were higher in the bioassay with the benthic species than in those with the two water-column species. A separate experiment showed that C. tentans' sensitivity was intermediate to that of Tubifex tubifex and Hyallela azteca. Freshwater organisms, especially benthic invertebrates, thus appear seriously effected by oil under the worst-case-scenario of our microcosms. Moreover, the cleaner and dispersant tested were poor response options under those conditions.