, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 482–489 | Cite as

Methyl-triclosan and triclosan impact embryonic development of Danio rerio and Paracentrotus lividus

  • Sofia Macedo
  • Tiago Torres
  • Miguel M. Santos


The presence of emerging pollutants in the environment is of major concern not only because of the potential negative impact in human health, but also due to the potential toxicity to non-target organisms. Within the personal and care products (PCPs), the disinfectant Triclosan (TCS) is one of the most concerning compounds. Once in the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), a small part of TCS can be biotransformed into a more persistent by-product: methyl-triclosan (M-TCS). Although several studies have focused on the occurrence of this compound in the water systems, the information on its toxicity to aquatic organisms is very limited. Here, we used embryo bioassays with two aquatic model animals to improve risk assessment of M-TCS; zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo bioassays run up to 144 h post fertilization (hpf) and sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) up to 48 hpf, following established protocols. M-TCS and TCS exhibited similar toxicity to zebrafish with a NOEC of 160 µg/L. In contrast, M-TCS induced a delay in the development of the sea urchin larvae at all tested concentrations (1–1000 µg/L), whereas NOEC of TCS for P. lividus embryos was 40 µg/L. Overall, given the reported effects of M-TCS in the close range of environmentally relevant concentrations, and considering the low degradation rate and tendency to bioaccumulation (logKow: 5.2), further studies are warrant to better characterize the risk of this TCS metabolite to aquatic organisms.


Emerging compounds Triclosan Methyl-triclosan Risk assessment Embryo bioassays 



This paper was developed under the project INNOVMAR—Innovation and Sustainability in the Management and Exploitation of Marine Resources (reference NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000035), with- in Research Line ECOSERVICES—Assessing the environmental quality, vulnerability and risks for the sustainable management of NW coast natural resources and ecosystem services, supported by North Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All Authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Macedo
    • 1
  • Tiago Torres
    • 1
  • Miguel M. Santos
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.CIMAR/CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental ResearchUniversity of Porto, Group of Endocrine disruptors and Emerging contaminantsPortoPortugal
  2. 2.FCUP—Department of Biology, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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