Tradescantia as a biomonitor for genotoxicity evaluation of diesel and biodiesel exhaust emissions

Biodiesel, an alternative energy source, is promoted as cleaner and safer than other fuel options due to its reported reduction of particulate and gaseous emissions (CO₂, CO, and total hydrocarbons). However, its volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions are key to understanding its toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic risk factors. This research was developed to assess the genotoxic impact of exhaust emissions using biodiesel from animal fat, palm oil and soybean oil blended with diesel (B80). Diluted exhaust gases were analyzed simultaneously for pollutant emissions and for toxicity using an exposure chamber called the BioToxMonitor, where Tradescantia pallida and a KU-20 clone were exposed to exhaust following Trad-MCN and Trad-SH bioassays. The results show differences in the emission compositions and considerable mutagenic potential among the three biodiesels tested, with palm oil biodiesel emissions being the least harmful, based on its low pollutant concentrations and the negative response in the TradSH bioassay. In contrast, the animal fat biodiesel and soybean oil biodiesel emissions were as toxic as the diesel emissions, being positive in both Trad bioassays. This could be related to the PAH and carbonyl concentrations found in the vehicular exhaust. The genotoxicity of diesel emissions was related to PM₁ and the concentrations of both gas and particle PAHs concentrations, which were two times higher compared to the highest concentrations observed for biodiesel. The data suggest that micronucleus assays in Tradescantia pallida are more sensitive for gaseous pollutant exposure. This is the first reported study of biodiesel exhaust biomonitoring in situ and under controlled conditions inside an exposure chamber.


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  • Accession Number: 01686029
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 3 2018 3:17PM