Ecotoxicity of climbazole, a fungicide contained in anti‐dandruff shampoo

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Emerging pollutants such as personal care products can reach the environment via effluents of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and digested sludge. Only recently, the anti‐dandruff agent and antimycotic climbazole was detected for the first time in a WWTP effluent with concentrations up to 0.5 µg/L. Despite its mode of action as C14‐demethylase inhibitor (DMI) fungicide and thus its high efficacy against fungi, knowledge on its potential environmental impact is lacking. Therefore, the aim of this work is to characterise climbazole's ecotoxicity by conducting standard biotests with organisms representing different trophic levels from the aquatic as well as the terrestrial compartment. It was found that the toxicity of climbazole is mostly similar to that of other DMI fungicides, while it proved to be particularly toxic towards primary producers. The lowest median effect concentrations (EC50) were determined for Lemna minor with 0.013 mg/L (biomass yield) and for Avena sativa with 18.5 mg/kg‐soil dry weight (d.w.) (shoot biomass). Reduction of frond size in water lentils and shootlength in higher plants suggested an additional, plant growth retarding mode of action of climbazole. In addition, it was demonstrated here that for an ionisable compound such as climbazole, the soil pH can have a considerable influence on phytotoxicity. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2013 SETAC

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