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The toxicity of the three antifouling biocides DCOIT, TPBP and medetomidine to the marine pelagic copepod Acartia tonsa

Journal article
Authors Ida Wendt
Thomas Backhaus
Hans Blanck
Åsa Arrhenius
Published in Ecotoxicology
Volume 25
Issue 5
Pages 871-879
ISSN 0963-9292
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 871-879
Language en
Keywords Antifoulant , Egg production and hatching , Endpoint sensitivity , Lethality , Sublethal effects , Zooplankton
Subject categories Environmental toxicology, Biological Sciences, Zoology, Other Natural Sciences


© 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York Copepods, the largest group of pelagic grazers, are at risk from exposure to antifouling biocides. This study investigated the toxicity of the antifouling biocides 4,5-dichloro-2-octyl-1,2-thiazol-3(2H)-one (DCOIT), triphenylborane pyridine (TPBP) and 4-[1-(2,3-dimethylphenyl)ethyl]-1H-imidazole (medetomidine) to the copepod Acartia tonsa, using mortality and egg production as endpoints. The toxicity ranking for mortality was as follows: DCOIT (LC50 57 nmol l−1) = TPBP (LC50 56 nmol l−1) > medetomidine (LC50 241 nmol l−1). Egg production was more sensitive than mortality to TPBP (EC50 3.2 nmol l−1), while DCOIT and medetomidine inhibited egg production at roughly the same concentrations (72 and 186 nmol l−1 respectively). Furthermore, TPBP seems to affect egg hatching directly which was not the case for DCOIT and medetomidine. DCOIT and medetomidine might pose an environmental risk as they have been reported to occur in different exposure scenarios or analytical surveys at concentrations only 2–3 times lower than the respective EC10. Reported environmental concentrations of TPBP are few but clearly lower than the EC10 values reported here, suggesting current risk of TPBP to copepods to be moderate.

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