Author(s): Pollino CA, Holdway DA
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Abstract The toxicity of petroleum hydrocarbons to marine aquatic organisms has been widely investigated; however, the effects on freshwater environments have largely been ignored. In the Australian freshwater environment, the potential impacts of petroleum hydrocarbons are virtually unknown. The toxicity of crude oil and related compounds were measured in the sensitive early life stages of the crimson-spotted rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis). Waterborne petroleum hydrocarbons crossed the chorion of embryonic rainbowfish, reducing survival and hatchability. Acute exposures resulted in developmental abnormalities at and above 0.5 mg/L total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). Deformities included pericardial edema, disturbed axis formation, and abnormal jaw development. When assessing the acute toxicities of the water-accommodated fraction (WAF) of crude oil, dispersants, dispersant-oil mixtures, and naphthalene to larval rainbowfish, the lowest to highest 96-h median lethal concentrations for day of hatch larvae were naphthalene (0.51 mg/L), dispersed crude oil WAF (DCWAF)-9527 (0.74 mg/L TPH), WAF (1.28 mg/L TPH), DCWAF-9500 (1.37 mg/L TPH), Corexit 9500 (14.5 mg/L TPH), and Corexit 9527 (20.1 mg/L). Using naphthalene as a reference toxicant, no differences were found between the sensitivities of larval rainbowfish collected from adults exposed to petroleum hydrocarbons during embryonic development and those collected from unexposed adults.
This article was published in Ecotoxicol Environ Saf
and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology