Acute toxicity studies of surfactants toDaphnia magna andDaphnia pulex

  • Alan W. Maki
  • William E. Bishop


Several experiments were designed to examine the acute toxicity of surfactants toDaphnia. Specific tests were designed to develop comparisons between existing acute toxicity data for fish and similar data forDaphnia, and to provide data on the effects of various environmental factors on resultant toxicity of surfactants toDaphnia.

Acute toxicity data for a series of homologous linear alkyl benzene sulfonates (LAS) demonstrate increases of up to one order of magnitude in toxicity for each increase of two alkyl carbons. LC 50's obtained withDaphnia magna are similar to those obtained with bluegills,L. Macrochirus. Comparative tests withD. magna andD. pulex indicate no statistical differences in 48-hr LC 50 values for three anionic and two nonionic surfactants. A 50 mg/L concentration of suspended, naturally-occurring kaolin significantly reduced the toxicity of longer chain length LAS homologs and had no effect on nonionic surfactant toxicity.

In tests with variable hardness concentrations, the acute toxicity of LAS toD. magna is a combined function of both culture and test water hardness. The toxicity of a nonionic surfactant toD. magna was higher in soft water and was not affected by culture water hardness levels.

Unlike previously published data for fish, the results of acute toxicity tests withD. magna cultures previously exposed to 0.4 mg/L LAS for periods up to seven generations indicated no significant difference in LAS susceptibility compared to simultaneously tested unexposed controls.


Surfactant Acute Toxicity Kaolin Nonionic Surfactant Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan W. Maki
    • 1
  • William E. Bishop
    • 1
  1. 1.Ivorydale Technical CenterThe Procter & Gamble Company U.S.A.Cincinnati

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