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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2015 Sep;22(17):13094-101. doi: 10.1007/s11356-015-4358-1. Epub 2015 May 1.

Potential toxic effects of aircraft de-icers and wastewater samples containing these compounds.

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Institute of Landscape and Plant Ecology, University of Hohenheim, August-von-Hartmann Str. 3, 70599, Stuttgart, Germany.


One of the major problems of airport operation is the impact of pollution caused by runoff waters. Runoff waters at an airport may contain high concentrations of different contaminants resulting from various activities of its operation. High quantities of aircraft de-icing/anti-icing fluids are used annually at airports worldwide. Aircraft de-icers and anti-icers may have negative environmental impacts, but their effects on aquatic organisms are virtually unknown. In order to address this issue, aircraft de-icers, pavement de-icers and wastewater samples were obtained from a regional airport. To evaluate the toxicity of wastewater samples and aircraft de-icing/anti-icing fluids (ADAFs), two bio-tests were performed: the Lemna growth inhibition test according to OECD guideline 221 and the luminescent bacteria test according to ISO guideline 11348-2. In the Lemna growth inhibition test, phytotoxicity was assessed using the endpoints frond number and frond area. The luminescent bacteria test involved the marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri. The estimates of effective concentrations (EC50) values were determined using the free software R and the "drc" library. Aquatic plants and marine bacteria showed a higher sensitivity towards ADAFs than to wastewater samples. Experiments showed that aircraft de-icing/anti-icing fluids and wastewater samples were relatively more toxic towards Lemna gibba L. in comparison to V. fischeri.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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