John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Biological responses of marine flatfish exposed to municipal wastewater effluent

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There is an increasing concern approximately the presence of pharmaceutical compounds, personal care products, and other chemicals collectively known as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in municipal effluents. Yet, knowledge approximately potential environmental impacts related to these compounds is still limited. In the present study, we conducted laboratory exposures that examined estrogenic, androgenic, and thyroid‐related endocrine responses in marine hornyhead turbot (Pleuronichthys verticalis) exposed to CECs from municipal effluents with two degrees of treatment. Fish were exposed for 14 days to environmentally realistic concentrations of effluent (0.5%) and to a higher concentration (5%) to investigate dose responses. Plasma concentrations of estradiol (E2), vitellogenin (VTG), 11‐keto testosterone and thyroxine were measured to assess endocrine responses. CECs were analyzed to characterize the effluents. Diverse types of effluent CECs were detected. Statistically significant responses were not observed in fish exposed to environmentally realistic concentrations of effluent. Elevated plasma E2 concentrations were observed in males exposed to ammonia concentrations similar to those found in effluents. However, exposure to ammonia did not induce VTG production in male fish. The results of the present study highlight the importance of conducting research with sentinel organisms in laboratory studies to understand the environmental significance of the presence of CECs in aquatic systems. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2013 SETAC

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