Toxicity of emerging energetic soil contaminant CL-20 to potworm Enchytraeus crypticus in freshly amended or weathered and aged treatments.Chemosphere. 2006 Mar; 62(8):1282-93.C
We investigated the toxicity of an emerging polynitramine energetic material hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20) to the soil invertebrate species Enchytraeus crypticus by adapting then using the Enchytraeid Reproduction Test (ISO/16387:2003). Studies were designed to develop ecotoxicological benchmark values for ecological risk assessment of the potential impacts of accidental release of this compound into the environment. Tests were conducted in Sassafras Sandy Loam soil, which supports relatively high bioavailability of CL-20. Weathering and aging procedures for CL-20 amended into test soil were incorporated into the study design to produce toxicity data that better reflect soil exposure conditions in the field compared with the toxicity in freshly amended soils. Concentration-response relationships for measurement endpoints were determined using nonlinear regressions. Definitive tests showed that toxicities for E. crypticus adult survival and juvenile production were significantly increased in weathered and aged soil treatments compared with toxicity in freshly amended soil, based on 95% confidence intervals. The median effect concentration (EC50) and EC20 values for juvenile production were 0.3 and 0.1 mg kg-1, respectively, for CL-20 freshly amended into soil, and 0.1 and 0.035 mg kg-1, respectively, for weathered and aged CL-20 soil treatments. These findings of increased toxicity to E. crypticus in weathered and aged CL-20 soil treatments compared with exposures in freshly amended soils show that future investigations should include a weathering and aging component to generate toxicity data that provide more complete information on ecotoxicological effects of emerging energetic contaminants in soil.