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Increasing the Environmental Relevance of Biodegradation Testing by Focusing on Initial Biodegradation Kinetics and Employing Low-Level Spiking


Tian, Run; Posselt, Malte; Fenner, Kathrin; McLachlan, Michael S (2023). Increasing the Environmental Relevance of Biodegradation Testing by Focusing on Initial Biodegradation Kinetics and Employing Low-Level Spiking. Environmental science & technology letters, 10(1):40-45.

Abstract

The environmental relevance of standard biodegradation tests such as OECD 309 has been questioned. Challenges include the interpretation of changing degradation kinetics over the 60–90 incubation days and the effects of chemical spiking on the microbial community. To ameliorate these weaknesses, we evaluated a modified OECD 309 test using water and sediment from three Swedish rivers. For each river, we had three treatments (no spiking, 0.5 μg L–1 spiking, and 5 μg L–1 spiking). The dissipation of a mixture of 56–80 spiked chemicals was followed over 14 days. Changes in dissipation kinetics during the incubation were interpreted as a departure of the microbial community from its initial (natural) state. The biodegradation kinetics were first-order throughout the incubation in the no spiking and 0.5 μg L–1 spiking treatments for almost all chemicals, but for the 5 μg L–1 treatment, more chemicals showed changes in kinetics. The rate constants in the no spiking and 0.5 μg L–1 treatments agreed within a factor of 2 for 35 of 37 cases. We conclude that the environmental relevance of OECD 309 is improved by considering only the initial biodegradation phase and that it is not compromised by spiking multiple chemicals at 0.5 μg L–1.
KEYWORDS: biodegradation river water sediment micropollutants OECD 309

Abstract

The environmental relevance of standard biodegradation tests such as OECD 309 has been questioned. Challenges include the interpretation of changing degradation kinetics over the 60–90 incubation days and the effects of chemical spiking on the microbial community. To ameliorate these weaknesses, we evaluated a modified OECD 309 test using water and sediment from three Swedish rivers. For each river, we had three treatments (no spiking, 0.5 μg L–1 spiking, and 5 μg L–1 spiking). The dissipation of a mixture of 56–80 spiked chemicals was followed over 14 days. Changes in dissipation kinetics during the incubation were interpreted as a departure of the microbial community from its initial (natural) state. The biodegradation kinetics were first-order throughout the incubation in the no spiking and 0.5 μg L–1 spiking treatments for almost all chemicals, but for the 5 μg L–1 treatment, more chemicals showed changes in kinetics. The rate constants in the no spiking and 0.5 μg L–1 treatments agreed within a factor of 2 for 35 of 37 cases. We conclude that the environmental relevance of OECD 309 is improved by considering only the initial biodegradation phase and that it is not compromised by spiking multiple chemicals at 0.5 μg L–1.
KEYWORDS: biodegradation river water sediment micropollutants OECD 309

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:540 Chemistry
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Environmental Chemistry
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Physical Sciences > Water Science and Technology
Physical Sciences > Waste Management and Disposal
Physical Sciences > Pollution
Physical Sciences > Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis, Pollution, Waste Management and Disposal, Water Science and Technology, Ecology, Environmental Chemistry
Language:English
Date:10 January 2023
Deposited On:06 Jan 2023 17:19
Last Modified:30 Jan 2024 02:37
Publisher:American Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN:2328-8930
Additional Information:Letter
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.2c00811
Project Information:
  • : FunderSwedish Research Counci
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)