Assessment of organic micropollutants occurrence in treated wastewater using heat shock protein 47 stress responses in Chinese hamster ovary cells and GC/MS-based non-target screening
Combining bioassays and analytical chemistry screening is a powerful approach to assess organic micropollutants which are the main contributors to toxic potential in complex mixtures of treated wastewater (TWW). The aim of this study was to perform a comprehensive toxicity assessment of treated effluents using stress response bioassays and then to assess the occurrence of the organic micropollutants which were responsible for this biological response using gas chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometry detector (GC/MS). Results showed that TWW samples induced significant stress response on Chinese hamster ovary cells, stably transfected with heat shock protein 47 promoter, at 0.1%, 1%, 5% and 10% concentrations. The organic chemical compounds responsible for stress response potential were identified at different percentage values using non-target chemical screening. Of the compounds detected in TWW1 and TWW4, 55.09% and 74.5% respectively, fell within the class of aliphatic hydrocarbons. Aliphatic hydrocarbons were also present in TWW3 at 26.46% whereas 11.96% corresponded to 6-acetyl-1,1,2,4,4,7-hexamethyltetralin and 16.08% to triethoxysilane. Moreover, 76.73% of TWW2 was recorded as decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) and 17.44% as n-hexadecanoic acid.