Bioassay of Phenol and its Intermediate Products Using Daphnia magna

Document Type : Research Paper


1 . Assist. Prof., Faculty of Health, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences

2 Assist. Prof., Department of Public Health and Environmental Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

3 Assoc. Prof., Department of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences


Phenol is one of the most common compounds found in many industrial effluents such as petroleum refining and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, paint and dye industries, organic chemicals manufacturing, etc. The contamination of bodies of water with phenol is a serious problem in terms of environmental considerations due to its high toxicity. In this study, toxicity of phenol and its degradation mixtures by sonochemical, photochemical, and photosonochemical processes were investigated. Toxicity assay tests were carried out using Daphnia magna as a bio-indicator. The sonochemical and photochemical experiments were carried out using a bath sonicator (500 W) working at 35 and 130 kHz frequencies and with a 400 W medium pressure mercury lamp, respectively. Experiments were performed at initial concentrations of 100 mg L-1. Bioassay tests showed that phenol was toxic to D.magna and so resulted in quite low LC50 values. Comparison of toxicity units (TU) between phenol and effluent toxicity showed that TU value for photosonochemical effluent was lower than that obtained for phenol, photochemical effluent, and sonochemical effluent. It was found that the toxicity unit of photochemical effluent was lower than that obtained for sonochemical effluent. According to the D.magna acute toxicity test, it is concluded that photosonolysis and photolysis are capable of decreasing the toxicity of by-products formed during the degradation of phenol aqueous solutions. Photosonic and photolytic processes can, therefore, be recommended as a potential approach to the treatment of phenolic wastewater.


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