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SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

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TOXICITY OF THE NOVEL ANTIMICROBIAL AGENT BENZETHONIUM CHLORIDE TO STREAM BIOFILM

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are not typically removed by wastewater treatment plants, leading to contamination of freshwater systems and a variety of potential negative consequences for aquatic organisms. Among PPCPs, antimicrobials commonly used in household disinfectant products rank among the most frequently detected compounds in streams. Recently, the antimicrobial Triclosan, which can reduce growth of aquatic algae, has been phased out in favor of Benzethonium Chloride (BZT). However, the environmental impacts of BZT remain poorly understood. To assess BZT effects on aquatic algae, we measured biofilm growth on natural stone tiles in a controlled environment across three treatment levels (5, 50, and 500 ug/L) relative to a negative control. Five replicates for each treatment were sampled weekly for six weeks (ntotal = 120) and analyzed for chlorophyll a and ash-free dry mass. Preliminary findings show that the 500 ug/L treatment level had approximately 50% lower chlorophyll a than the control, while the other two treatment levels were more similar to the control. Our results suggest that biofilm growth is not substantially hindered by BZT at concentrations less than 50 ug/L.

Deven Korte (Primary Presenter/Author), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, devenkorte@gmail.com;


David Janetski (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, janetski@iup.edu;