M. Misik, S. Knasmüller, F. Ferk, M. Cichna-Markl, T. Grummt, H. Schaar, N. Kreuzinger:
"Impact of ozonation on the genotoxic activity of tertiary treated municipal wastewater";
Ozonation is an emerging technology for the removal of micropollutants from treated wastewater. Aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of ozone treatment on genotoxic and acute toxic effects of tertiary treated municipal wastewater. It is known that DNA-damaging chemicals cause adverse effects in the environment and that exposure to humans leads to cancer and other diseases. Toxicity was tested in organisms from three
trophic levels namely in bacteria (Salmonella/microsome assays) which enable the detection of gene mutations, in a plant bioassay (micronucleus assay with root tip cells of Allium cepa) which reflects clastogenic and aneugenic effects and in single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) tests with mammalian cells which detect DNA migration caused by single-, double strand breaks and alkali labile sites. In the bacterial tests negative results were obtained
with untreated samples but after concentration with C18 cartridges a positive result was found in strains TA1537 and TA98 which are sensitive to frameshift mutagens while no mutations were induced in other tester strains (TA100, TA102 and YG1024). Ozone treatment
led to a decrease of the mutagenic activity of the samples. In the SCGE experiments,DNA migration was detected with the unconcentrated effluent of the treatment plant and ozonation led to a substantial decrease of this effect. In the plant bioassays, negative results were obtained with the effluent and ozone treatment did not cause an alteration of the micronucleus frequencies. Also acute toxic effects were monitored in the different indicator organisms under all experimental conditions. The bacteriocidal/bacteriostatic
effects which were seen with the concentrated samples were reduced by ozonation. In the experiments with the eukaryotic (plant and animal) cells no acute toxicity was seen with the effluents and ozonation had no impact on their viability. In conclusion findings of this study indicate that ozonation of tertiary effluents of a municipal treatment plant reduces the adverse effects caused by release of mutagens in aquatic ecosystems and does not decrease the viability of bacteria and eukaryotic cells. However, future research is required to find out if, and to which extent these findings can be generalized and which mechanisms account for the detoxification of the wastewater.
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