New publication: Effects of waste materials on Caenorhabditis elegans

The ecotoxicological characterisation of waste according to the European Waste List (HP14) is part of its hazard classification, which is based on 15 different hazardous properties and should include toxicity tests representing the aquatic and terrestrial compartment. Besides established soil toxicity tests with bacteria, plants, and earthworms, the standardised test with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (ISO 10872) is suitable for testing soils and wastes. However, it has not been validated for the purpose of assessing the effects of waste materials. In the present study, 23 waste samples were tested for their effects on growth and reproduction of C. elegans to verify the suitability of ISO 10872 for assessing the ecotoxicological hazard of waste. Results were compared to those obtained with other ecotoxicological test systems. In most cases, the nematodes showed a comparable response to the waste samples as the earthworm (Eisenia fetida) avoidance test. For some waste samples, results of the tests with C. elegans indicated a higher toxicity than the earthworm avoidance test, thus providing non-redundant information for the ecotoxicological hazard assessment of wastes. Also in view of the short duration (4 days) and the small-scale test set-up, the soil toxicity test with C. elegans turned out to be a valuable addition to already existing test batteries for assessing the ecotoxicity of waste in the soil compartment.

For further information, see the publication in Environmental Science and Pollution Research:

Höss, S., Römbke, J. (2019). Effects of waste materials on Caenorhabditis elegans (Nematoda) using the ISO standard soil toxicity test. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 25, 26304-26312.

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