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Mixture toxicity of copper and nonylphenol on the embryo-larval development of Rhinella arenarum

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Copper and nonylphenol are two commonly found chemicals in the aquatic environment, particularly in the distribution area of the amphibian Rhinella arenarum. The current work evaluated the lethal toxicity of equitoxic and non-equitoxic binary mixtures of copper and nonylphenol on embryos and larvae of the South America toad by means of the standardized test, AMPHITOX. Joint toxicity of mixtures was assessed in several proportions of these compounds at different exposure times and was analyzed at different level of mortality effect (LC10, LC50 and LC90). Considering the LC50, the equitoxic mixture was always antagonistic independently of the exposure time and the developmental stage. Joint toxicity showed mainly an antagonistic pattern; nonetheless, some time-dependent additive interactions were observed. Regarding the LC10, synergistic interactions were found in embryos and larvae exposed to two different mixture proportions at several exposure times. This highlights the possible synergism of these chemicals at environmentally relevant concentrations. These results point out the relevance of assessing joint toxicity of environmental pollutants for environmental risk assessment.

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We want to thank Ferring Pharmaceuticals for providing the human chorionic gonadotropin. We are grateful to Paola Babay for her valuable help in the analysis and quantification of nonylphenol and copper test solutions.

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Correspondence to Cristina Pérez Coll.

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Aronzon, C.M., Peluso, J. & Coll, C.P. Mixture toxicity of copper and nonylphenol on the embryo-larval development of Rhinella arenarum. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-07857-7

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  • Amphibians
  • Copper
  • Joint toxicity
  • Nonylphenol
  • Mixtures
  • Synergism