Haloacetic acids in the aquatic environment. Part I: macrophyte toxicity.Environ Pollut. 2004 Aug; 130(3):371-83.EP
Haloacetic acids (HAAs) are contaminants of aquatic ecosystems with numerous sources, both anthropogenic and natural. The toxicity of HAAs to aquatic plants is generally uncharacterized. Laboratory tests were conducted with three macrophytes (Lemna gibba, Myriophyllum sibiricum and Myriophyllum spicatum) to assess the toxicity of five HAAs. Myriophyllum spp. has been proposed as required test species for pesticide registration in North America, but few studies have been conducted under standard test conditions. The HAAs in the present experiments were monochloroacetic acid (MCA), dichloroacetic acid (DCA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and chlorodifluoroacetic acid (CDFA). MCA was the most toxic to Myriophyllum spp. with EC50 values ranging from 8 to 12.4 mg/l depending on the endpoint, followed by DCA (EC50 range 62-722.5 mg/l), TCA (EC50 range 49.5-1702.6 mg/l), CDFA (EC50 range 105.3 to >10,000 mg/l) and with TFA (EC50 range 222.1 to 10,000 mg/l) the least toxic. Generally, L. gibba was less sensitive to HAA toxicity than Myriophyllum spp., with the difference in toxicity between them approximately threefold. The range of toxicity within Myriophyllum spp. was normally less than twofold. Statistically, plant length and node number were the most sensitive endpoints as they had the lowest observed coefficients of variation, but they were not the most sensitive to HAA toxicity. Toxicological sensitivity of endpoints varied depending on the measure of effect chosen and the HAA, with morphological endpoints usually an order of magnitude more sensitive than pigments for all plant species. Overall, mass and root measures tended to be the most sensitive indicators of HAA toxicity. The data from this paper were subsequently used in an ecological risk assessment for HAAs and aquatic plants. The assessment found HAAs to be of low risk to aquatic macrophytes and the results are described in the second manuscript of this series.