The toxicity of bleached Kraft pulp mill effluents (BKME) is usually attributed to chemical compounds which are produced and released throughout various stages of pulp and paper production. The main objective of the present work was to detect sub-lethal responses of goldfish (Carassius auratus) to secondary treated BKME which was treated with Rhizopus oryzae. A total of 96 carps (C. auratus; 11 +/- A 3 g) were exposed to different concentrations of the post-treated effluent (0, 1, 10, 25, 50, and 100%), in 28 days semi-static tests. Several biomarkers were then evaluated to assess the toxicological effects: induction of CYP1A (metabolic processes of organic compounds in liver), change in steroid profiles (11-Ketotestosterone, 17 beta-estradiol), histopathology of liver and gonads and somatic indices (GSI, HSI) for endocrine disruption and other physiological disturbances. The most significant results show an induction of CYP1A in both sexes and a decrease of 17 beta-estradiol concentrations in females. Histopathological changes such as liver tissue degeneration were observed in fish exposed to 50 and 100% of the BKME. Although the BKME was biologically treated there are some chemical compounds in the effluent that are capable to affect fish physiology, however, a clear evidence for endocrine disruption was not found.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2009|