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Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry




The aim of this study was to determine the influence of salinity and organism age on the chronic toxicity of waterborne lead (Pb) to Atherinops affinis and to compare the relative Pb sensitivity of A. affinis with other marine species. Chronic Pb exposure experiments were conducted in a water flow‐through testing system. Survival, standard length, dry weight, and tissue Pb concentration were measured and lethal concentrations (LC), effective concentrations (EC), and bioconcentration factor (BCF) were calculated. In general, increasing salinity and organism age decreased Pb toxicity. The LC50s for larval fish at 14 and 28 ppt salinity were 15.1 and 79.8 µg/L dissolved Pb, respectively; whereas, the LC50 for juvenile fish was 167.6 µg/L dissolved Pb at 28 ppt salinity. Using standard length data, the EC10 values for larval fish were 16.4 and 82.4 µg/L dissolved Pb at 14 and 28 ppt salinity, respectively. The dry weight EC25 for low and high salinity were 15.6 and 61.84 µg/L dissolved Pb, respectively. The BCF was higher with the lower salinity study (1,703) in comparison to the higher salinity study (654). Results of Pb speciation calculation showed higher fraction of Pb2+ in water with lower salinity, explaining the higher observed toxicity of Pb in lower salinity water than higher salinity water. Atherinops affinis is more sensitive to Pb than several other marine species. Evidences for abnormal swimming and skeletal deformities were observed in Pb exposure treatment. Results of the present study are useful for marine Biotic Ligand Modeling and support ecological risk assessment and deriving Pb environmental quality criteria for marine environment.


Author Posting. © Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2018. This article is posted here by permission of SETAC for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2018,

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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.