John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Biochemical and genetic toxicity of the ionic liquid 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride on earthworms (Eisenia fetida)

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Ionic liquids also known as “green solvents,” are used in many fields. However, the dispersion of ionic liquids in soil systems is likely to cause damage to soil organisms. The objective of the present study was to investigate the toxicity of 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([C8mim]Cl) on earthworms (Eisenia fetida). For this purpose, earthworms were exposed to different concentrations of [C8mim]Cl (0?mg/kg, 5?mg/kg, 10?mg/kg, 20?mg/kg, and 40?mg/kg artificial soil) and sampled at 7 d, 14 d, 21 d, and 28 d. The results indicated that [C8mim]Cl could cause an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in earthworms, even at the lowest concentration (5?mg/kg). Compared with the controls, during the [C8mim]Cl exposure period, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) decreased and then increased, whereas the activities of peroxidase (POD) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) increased. These changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes and GST indicated that [C8mim]Cl could induce oxidative damage in earthworms. The malondialdehyde content was increased by high levels of [C8mim]Cl at 14 d and 28 d, indicating that [C8mim]Cl could lead to lipid peroxidation in earthworms. In addition, the degree of DNA damage significantly increased with increasing [C8mim]Cl concentrations and exposure time. The present study shows that [C8mim]Cl caused biochemical and genetic toxicity in earthworms. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;9999:1–8. © 2015 SETAC

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