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Phytotoxicity and genotoxicity evaluation of 2,4,6-tribromophenol solution treated by UV-based oxidation processes

Heberle, Alan Nelson Arenhart, Alves, Maria Eduarda Pereira, da Silva, Salatiel Wohlmuth, Klauck, Cláudia Regina, Rodrigues, Marco Antônio Siqueira, Bernardes, Andréa Moura
Environmental pollution 2019 v.249 pp. 354-361
bulbs, byproducts, chromosome aberrations, genotoxicity, hydroxyl radicals, mineralization, oxidation, photocatalysis, photolysis, phytotoxicity, seeds
The environmental detriment due to the presence of emerging contaminants has encouraged the development of advanced oxidation processes. Such methods deal with non-selective chemical reactions. Therefore, toxic byproducts can be generated and distinct post treatment toxicity levels can be expected. The present study investigates the phytotoxicity of 2,4,6-tribromophenol (TBP) to L. sativa seeds and A. cepa bulbs, as well as the TBP phytotoxicity and genotoxicity to A. cepa root. L. sativa seeds and A. cepa bulbs were germinated by being exposed to solutions containing TBP before and after treatment by UV-based processes: direct photolysis (DP), heterogeneous photocatalysis (HP) and photoelectrolysis (PEC). Subsequent analysis of the root length, to determine phytotoxicity, as well as evaluation of chromosomal abnormalities, revealed that the samples treated by DP presented higher phytotoxicity than the untreated ones. On the other hand, samples treated by HP and PEC did not present phytotoxicity. In fact, for the A. cepa assays, phytotoxicity was not observed, including the initial sample. However, genotoxicity assays showed a high frequency of chromosomal aberrations in the initial sample, before the UV-based process treatment. After 140 min of treatment by HP, there was a reduction in genotoxicity, while PEC treatment resulted in a sample with no genotoxicity. In contrast, DP presented high levels of phytotoxicity and genotoxicity. Additionally, DP shows similar degradation and debromination values, when compared to the HP and PEC processes, but less mineralization. Therefore, considering that the DP process did not deals with the HO• radical, the oxidation pathway can generate byproducts with higher toxicity, which lead to higher levels of phytotoxicity and genotoxicity. These results show that different UV-based oxidation processes are associated to distinct byproducts and toxicity levels. In addition, a toxicity assessment with different organisms should be performed to ensure a safe outcome.