A toxicity and hazard assessment of fourteen pharmaceuticals to Xenopus laevis larvae
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The toxicity of fourteen widely used human pharmaceuticals was determined using the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay–Xenopus (FETAX). Stage 9 Xenopus blastulae were exposed for 96 h to single concentrations of commonly prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), statin blood lipid regulators, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, a stimulant, and an anti-epileptic. Toxicity, teratogenicity, minimum concentration to inhibit growth, and types and severity of associated malformations were determined. EC10s ranged from 3.0 mg/l to >100 mg/l and LC10s ranged from 3.6 mg/l to >100 mg/l. Toxicity varied between and within compound class of pharmaceutical. The fluoroquinolones, stimulants, anti-epileptics, and antibiotics tested were determined to be nontoxic and non-teratogenic at singular, water-soluble concentrations. The hazard quotients (HQ) for the pharmaceuticals ranged from 6.10 × 10−7 to 1.6 × 10−4, all of which are orders of magnitude below EPA’s levels for concern for harm to aquatic animals. Thus, based on the data from the present study, concentrations of individual pharmaceuticals currently detected in surface water are far below concentrations of effective and lethal concentrations.