Toxicity of tire particle leachates on early life stages of keystone sea urchin species

Particles from tires are a major fraction of microplastic pollution. They contain a wide range of chemical additives that can leach into the water and be harmful to aquatic organisms. In this study, the authors investigated the acute toxicity of tire particle leachates in early life stages of three keystone echinoderm species (Paracentrotus lividus, Arbacia lixula, Diadema africanum). Embryos were exposed for 72 h to a range of leachate dilutions, prepared using a concentration of 1 g L⁻¹. Larval growth, abnormal development, and mortality were the measured endpoints. Furthermore, the authors estimated the activity of glutathione S transferase (GST) and the electron transport system (ETS) in P. lividus. Strong concentration-dependent responses were observed in all species, though with differing sensitivity. The median effect concentrations for abnormal development in P. lividus and A. lixula were 0.16 and 0.35 g L⁻¹, respectively. In D. africanum, mortality overshadowed abnormal development and the median lethal concentration was 0.46 g L⁻¹. Larvae of P. lividus were significantly smaller than the control from 0.125 g L⁻¹, while the other two species were affected from 0.5 g L⁻¹. ETS activity did not change but there was a non-significant trend of increasing GST activity with leachate concentration in P. lividus. Seven organic chemicals and eight metals were detected at elevated concentrations in the leachates. While the authors regard zinc as a strong candidate to explain some of the observed toxicity, it can be expected that tire particle leachates exhibit a cocktail effect and other leached additives may also contribute to their toxicity. The authors' results emphasize the importance of multi-species studies as they differ in their susceptibility to tire particle pollution. The authors found negative effects at concentrations close to projections in the environment, which calls for more research and mitigation actions on these pollutants.


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  • Accession Number: 01896348
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2023 10:32AM