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Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry








The present study characterized the chronic effect of binary‐metal mixtures of cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) on Daphnia magna. The titration design was chosen to characterize the 21‐d chronic effects of the binary‐metal mixtures on survival, growth, reproduction, and metal accumulation in D. magna. Using this design, increasing concentrations of Zn (10, 20, 40, 80, 120, 160, and 200 μg/L) were titrated against a constant concentration of 1.5 μg/L Cd. The results demonstrated that Cd was highly toxic to D. magna. In a mixture with Cd and Zn, sublethal concentrations of 10 and 20 μg/L Zn were insufficient to protect D. magna from chronic Cd toxicity, whereas mixtures containing 40, 80, and 120 μg/L Zn provided strong protective effects to D. magna at all endpoints and resulted in less‐than‐additive effects. At higher Zn concentrations, such as 160 and 200 μg/L, Zn appeared to contribute to the toxicity. The less‐than‐additive effects observed in the Cd–Zn mixture can be explained by the decrease in body Cd concentration when the Zn concentration was increased in the exposure media. Embryos analyzed for morphological alterations in the Cd–Zn mixtures demonstrated severe developmental defects. The effect of Cd on undeveloped embryos while both Zn and Cd are present in the organisms raises a question of whether the competitive binding mechanism of Zn and Cd is still happening at the cellular level in the organisms. The results of the present study are useful for development of the biotic ligand model and environmental quality guidelines for metal mixtures.


Author Posting. © SETAC 2017. This article is posted here by permission of SETAC for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, vol. 36, no. 10, 2017,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.