Toxicity of emerging antifouling biocides to non-target freshwater organisms from three trophic levels

Oliveira, Isabel B., Groh, Ksenia J., Schönenberger, Rene, Barroso, Carlos, Thomas, Kevin V. and Suter, Marc J.-F. (2017) Toxicity of emerging antifouling biocides to non-target freshwater organisms from three trophic levels. Aquatic Toxicology, 191 164-174. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.07.019

Author Oliveira, Isabel B.
Groh, Ksenia J.
Schönenberger, Rene
Barroso, Carlos
Thomas, Kevin V.
Suter, Marc J.-F.
Title Toxicity of emerging antifouling biocides to non-target freshwater organisms from three trophic levels
Journal name Aquatic Toxicology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1879-1514
Publication date 2017-10-01
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.07.019
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 191
Start page 164
End page 174
Total pages 11
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Abstract Antifouling (AF) systems provide the most cost-effective protection against biofouling. Several AF biocides have, however, caused deleterious effects in the environment. Subsequently, new compounds have emerged that claim to be more environment-friendly, but studies on their toxicity and environmental risk are necessary in order to ensure safety. This work aimed to assess the toxicity of three emerging AF biocides, tralopyril, triphenylborane pyridine (TPBP) and capsaicin, towards non-target freshwater organisms representing three trophic levels: algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii), crustacean (Daphnia magna) and fish (Danio rerio). From the three tested biocides, tralopyril had the strongest inhibitory effect on C. reinhardtii growth, effective quantum yield and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content. TPBP caused sub-lethal effects at high concentrations (100 and 250μgL(-1)), and capsaicin had no significant effects on algae. In the D. magna acute immobilisation test, the most toxic compound was TPBP. However, tralopyril has a short half-life and quickly degrades in water. With exposure solution renewals, tralopyril's toxicity was similar to TPBP. Capsaicin did not cause any effects on daphnids. In the zebrafish embryo toxicity test (zFET) the most toxic compound was tralopyril with a 120h - LC50 of 5μgL(-1). TPBP's 120h - LC50 was 447.5μgL(-1). Capsaicin did not cause mortality in zebrafish up to 1mgL(-1). Sub-lethal effects on the proteome of zebrafish embryos were analysed for tralopyril and TPBP. Both general stress-related and compound-specific protein changes were observed. Five proteins involved in energy metabolism, eye structure and cell differentiation were commonly regulated by both compounds. Tralopyril specifically induced the upregulation of 6 proteins implicated in energy metabolism, cytoskeleton, cell division and mRNA splicing whilst TPBP lead to the upregulation of 3 proteins involved in cytoskeleton, cell growth and protein folding. An ecological risk characterization was performed for a hypothetical freshwater marina. This analysis identified capsaicin as an environment-friendly compound while tralopyril and TPBP seem to pose a risk to freshwater ecosystems. Noneless, more studies on the characterization of the toxicity, behaviour and fate of these AF biocides in the environment are necessary since this information directly affects the outcome of the risk assessment.
Keyword Antifouling biocides
Ecological risk assessment
Multidimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT)
Non-target freshwater organisms
Proteomic differential analysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID


Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) Publications
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