Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 19, pp 14442–14454 | Cite as

Effect-based assessment of persistent organic pollutant and pesticide dumpsite using mammalian CALUX reporter cell lines

  • B. PieterseEmail author
  • I. J. C. Rijk
  • E. Simon
  • B. M. A. van Vugt-Lussenburg
  • B. F. H. Fokke
  • M. van der Wijk
  • H. Besselink
  • R. Weber
  • B. van der Burg
12th IHPA Forum and selected studies on POPs


A combined chemical and biological analysis of samples from a major obsolete pesticide and persistent organic pollutant (POP) dumpsite in Northern Tajikistan was carried out. The chemical analytical screening focused on a range of prioritized compounds and compounds known to be present locally. Since chemical analytics does not allow measurements of hazards in complex mixtures, we tested the use of a novel effect-based approach using a panel of quantitative high-throughput CALUX reporter assays measuring distinct biological effects relevant in hazard assessment. Assays were included for assessing effects related to estrogen, androgen, and progestin signaling, aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated signaling, AP1 signaling, genotoxicity, oxidative stress, chemical hypoxia, and ER stress. With this panel of assays, we first quantified the biological activities of the individual chemicals measured in chemical analytics. Next, we calculated the expected sum activity by these chemicals in the samples of the pesticide dump site and compared the results with the measured CALUX bioactivity of the total extracts of these samples. The results showed that particularly endocrine disruption-related effects were common among the samples. This was consistent with the toxicological profiles of the individual chemicals that dominated these samples. However, large discrepancies between chemical and biological analysis were found in a sample from a burn place present in this site, with biological activities that could not be explained by chemical analysis. This is likely to be caused by toxic combustion products or by spills of compounds that were not targeted in the chemical analysis.


Pesticides Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Mixture toxicity Bioassay CALUX Endocrine disruption AhR Risk assessment 



Part of this work was funded by the BE-Basic foundation, which was granted a FES subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Pieterse
    • 1
    Email author
  • I. J. C. Rijk
    • 2
  • E. Simon
    • 1
  • B. M. A. van Vugt-Lussenburg
    • 1
  • B. F. H. Fokke
    • 3
  • M. van der Wijk
    • 2
  • H. Besselink
    • 1
  • R. Weber
    • 4
  • B. van der Burg
    • 1
  1. 1.BioDetection Systems B.V.AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Witteveen+Bos Consulting Engineers B.V.DeventerThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Tauw B.V.DeventerThe Netherlands
  4. 4.POPs Environmental ConsultingSchwaebisch GmuendGermany

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