Atrazine levels in the Jaboticabal water stream (Sao Paulo State, Brazil) and its toxicological effects on the pacu fish Piaractus mesopotamicus
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The aim of this study was to determine the environmental concentration of atrazine (ATZ) in five streams located in the north of Sao Paulo state (Brazil) and evaluate its toxicological impact on young specimens of the pacu fish Piaractus mesopotamicus. Samples of water were collected on three occasions between 2010 and 2011, corresponding to periods signifying the beginning, middle, and end of rain season. ATZ levels were estimated by a high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) triple quadrupole. Later, the quotient of environmental risk (QR) was determined based on the medium lethal concentration (LC50 48 h), non-observable effect concentration (NOEC), and the estimated environmental concentration (EEC) of ATZ detected in the environment. Histological changes in gills and liver were also studied, along with the brain activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The highest concentration of ATZ measured was 10.4 mu g L-1. The ATZ LC50 (48 h) for young P. mesopotamicus was 24.46 mg L-1 and the QR was classified as "safe". Although the QR indicated that ATZ could be safe for the tested species, it caused many histological alterations in the liver and gills of the exposed specimens, and an increase in the AChE levels.
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