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(035) Evaluation of biomarkers to assess explosives exposure in earthworm: laboratory and field studies.
Robidoux, Pierre Yves*,1, Sarrazin, Manon1, Hawari, Jalal1, Thiboutot, Sonia2, Ampleman, Guy2, Sunahara, Geoffrey1, 1 Biotechnology Research Institute, National Research Council of Canada, Montreal, Quebec, Canada2 Defense Research Establishment - Valcartier, Canadian Ministry of National Defense, Val Bélair, Quebec, Canada
ABSTRACT- Toxicity tests and biomarkers (such as the lysosomal neutral red retention time assay) were used in laboratory studies to assess the toxic effects of energetic compounds (such as TNT, RDX and HMX) on earthworms (Eisenia andrei) in vivo. The results are compared to the toxicant concentrations in earthworm tissue, as well as standard sub-lethal toxicity endpoints including growth (i.e., weight change) and reproduction effects for the earthworm. Exposure to explosives on filter paper and soil (including artificial and natural soils) experiments indicated a significant decrease in NRRT when earthworms are exposed to low concentrations of explosives. Field experiments using mesocosms also confirmed that explosives contaminated-soils were toxic to the earthworms. The use of the NRRT assay linked with tissue concentrations of energetic substances and their metabolites in earthworms, was identified as a potentially appropriate biomarker approach for exposure assessment under laboratory and field conditions, and a novel tool for effects-based risk assessment.
Key words: Biomarker, toxicity assessment, energetic substances, TNT
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