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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2001 Apr;20(4):763-8.

Toxicokinetics and toxicity of zinc under time-varying exposure in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

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  • 1Faculty of Agricultural Technology, Soegijapranata Catholic University, Semarang, Indonesia.


Levels of toxic substances released into the environment are often highly variable and fluctuate over time. The present study deals with a simple type of time-variable exposure, diluted pulse. We determined toxicokinetic parameters of zinc in guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) and evaluated the applicability of a toxicokinetics-based survival model developed earlier. In the toxicokinetics experiment, zinc was rapidly taken up and released again; the half-life in fish was only 1.5 d. In the toxicity experiments with diluted-pulse exposure, survival leveled off to a baseline level, which in accordance with the model is explained by the dilution of zinc. The model fitted reasonably well for the lower initial concentrations but tended to overestimate survival rates at the higher concentrations. Toxicokinetic parameters estimated from changes in survival were close to values estimated from measured zinc concentrations in water. Elimination rates during pulse exposure varied from 0.434 to 0.488 d(-1) and corresponded very well to the elimination rate during constant exposure (0.463 d(-1)). Ultimate LC50 values were estimated as 6.40 and 9.10 mg/L. These results suggest that toxicity experiments with a simple, time-varying exposure can be used as an alternative to conventional, constant-exposure experiments. Toxicokinetic parameters and toxicological endpoints can still be estimated in static bioassays with decreasing exposure if the concentration in the medium is measured. At the same time, diluted-pulse experiments may simulate exposure from discharges in the field better than constant-exposure experiments.

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