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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Acute Toxicity and Environmental Risks of Five Veterinary Pharmaceuticals for Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

Bundschuh, Mirco; Hahn, Torsten; Ehrlich, Bert; Höltge, Sibylla; Kreuzig, Robert; Schulz, Ralf


Due to the high use of antibiotics and antiparasitics for the treatment of livestock, there is concern about the potential impacts of the release of these compounds into freshwater ecosystems. In this context, the present study quantified the acute toxicity of two antibiotics (sulfadiazine and sulfadimidine), and three antiparasitic agents (flubendazole, fenbendazole, ivermectin) for nine freshwater invertebrate species. These experiments revealed a low degree of toxicity for the sulfonamide antibiotics, with limited implications in the survival of all test species at the highest test concentrations (50 and 100 mg/L). In contrast, all three antiparasitic agents indicated on the basis of their acute toxicity risks for the aquatic environment. Moreover, chronic toxicity data from the literature for antiparasitics, including effects on reproduction in daphnids, support the concern about the integrity of aquatic ecosystems posed by releases of these compounds. Thus, these pharmaceuticals warrant further careful consideration by environmental risk managers.


Sulfonamide antibiotics; Benzimidazole anthelmintics; Ivermectin; Antiparasitics; Predicted no effect concentration; Predicted environmental concentration

Published in

Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
2016, Volume: 96, number: 2, pages: 139-143
Publisher: SPRINGER

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation
    SDG14 Life below water

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Natural Sciences not elsewhere specified

    Publication Identifiers


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