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Acute and sub-chronic toxicity bioassays of Olive Mill Wastewater on the Eastern mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki

Leris, Ioannis, Kalogianni, Eleni, Tsangaris, Catherine, Smeti, Evangelia, Laschou, Sofia, Anastasopoulou, Evangelia, Vardakas, Leonidas, Kapakos, Yiannis, Skoulikidis, Nikolaos Th.
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2019 v.175 pp. 48-57
Gambusia holbrooki, acetylcholinesterase, anemia, bioassays, catalase, environmental policy, enzyme inhibition, fish, hemorrhage, lethal concentration 50, mucus, olive mill wastewater, olive oil, olives, secretion, toxicity, waterways
Olive oil production generates large volumes of wastewaters mostly in peri-Mediterranean countries with adverse impacts on the biota of the receiving aquatic systems. Few studies have however documented its toxicity on aquatic species, with an almost total lack of relative studies on fish. We assessed the acute and sub-chronic OMW toxicity, as well as the acute and sub-chronic behavioural, morphological and biochemical effects of OMW exposure on the mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki. LC50 values of the acute bioassays ranged from 7.31% (24 h) to 6.38% (96 h). Behavioural symptoms of toxicity included hypoactivity and a shift away from the water surface, coupled with a range of morphological alterations, such as skin damage, excessive mucus secretion, hemorrhages, fin rot and exophhalmia, with indications also of gill swelling and anemia. Biochemical assays showed that OMW toxicity resulted in induction of catalase (CAT) and inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities. The implications of our results at the level of environmental policy for the sustainable management of the olive mill industry, i.e. the effective restriction of untreated OMW disposal of in adjacent waterways, as well as the implementation of new technologies that reduce their impact (detoxification and/or revalorization of its residues) are discussed.