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Bioconcentration and behavioral effects of four benzodiazepines and their environmentally relevant mixture in wild fish

Cerveny, D.; Brodin, T.; Cisar, P.; McCallum, E. S.; Fick, J.


We studied the adverse effects of four benzodiazepines frequently measured in European surface waters. We evaluated bioaccumulation potential of oxazepam, bromazepam, temazepam, and clobazam in freshwater fish species - perch (Perca fluviatilis) and we conducted a series of behavioral trials to assess their potential to alter boldness, activity, and social behavior. All selected endpoints were studied individually for each target benzodiazepine and as a mixture of all tested compounds to assess possible combinatory effects. We used a three-dimensional automated tracking system to quantify the fish behavior. The four compounds bioconcentrated differently in fish muscle (temazepam > clobazam > oxazepam > bromazepam) at high exposure (9.1, 6.9, 5.7, 8.1 mu g L-1, respectively) and low exposure (0.5, 0.5, 0.3, 0.4 mu g L-1, respectively) concentrations. A significant amount of oxazepam was also measured in fish exposed to temazepam, most likely because of the metabolic transformation of temazepam within the fish. Bromazepam, temazepam, and clobazam significantly affected fish behavior at high concentration, while no statistically significant changes were registered for oxazepam. The studied benzodiazepines affected behavior in combination, because the mixture treatment significantly changed several important behavioral traits even at low concentration, while no single compound exposure had such an effect at that dose. Based on our results, we conclude that effects of pharmaceuticals on aquatic environments could be underestimated if risk assessments only rely on the evaluation of single compounds. More studies focused on the combinatory effects of environmentally relevant mixtures of pharmaceuticals are necessary to fill the gaps in this knowledge. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publicerad i

Science of the Total Environment
2020, Volym: 702, artikelnummer: 134780Utgivare: ELSEVIER