Ecotoxicological evaluation of two anti-dandruff hair shampoos using Lemna minor

  • Azizullah Azizullah
  • Shakirullah Khan Shakir
  • Shahana Shoaib
  • Halima Bangash
  • Nadia Taimur
  • Waheed Murad
  • Muhammad Khan Daud


Hair shampoos, a mixture of various organic and organic compounds, are commonly used personnel care products. Since shampoos are used in almost every household and beauty shop, their ingredients are common components of domestic and municipal wastewater. However, studies on the effect of shampoos to aquatic plants can hardly be found in literature. Therefore, the present study was conducted to investigate the phytotoxic effects of two commonly used anti-dandruff shampoos (named here AD 1 and AD 2) using Lemna minor as a biotest organism. For toxicity assessment, frond number, fresh and dry biomass, and light-harvesting pigments (chlorophyll a, b and total carotenoids) of Lemna were used as end points. Five different concentrations (0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1, and 5%) of each shampoo were tested in comparison to the control. At lower concentrations of shampoos, some minor and non-significant stimulatory effects were observed in some parameters, but at concentrations above 0.01% both the shampoos significantly inhibited almost all parameters in Lemna. The EC50 values obtained for frond number were 0.034 and 0.11% for AD 1 and AD 2, respectively. The fresh biomass gave EC50 values of 0.07 and 0.066% for AD 1 and AD 2, respectively. Based on the preset study, it can be speculated that shampoo contamination at higher concentrations in water bodies can be a threat to aquatic organisms. This study can be used as a baseline to further investigate shampoo toxicity using other species and to explore the mechanism of shampoo toxicity in aquatic plants.


Anti-dandruff Shampoo Ecotoxicology Lemna Aquatic environment 



We are thankful to all staff at the Department of Botany, KUST for their support. We also acknowledge KUST for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Azizullah Azizullah
    • 1
  • Shakirullah Khan Shakir
    • 1
  • Shahana Shoaib
    • 1
  • Halima Bangash
    • 1
  • Nadia Taimur
    • 1
  • Waheed Murad
    • 2
  • Muhammad Khan Daud
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BotanyKohat University of Science and Technology (KUST)KohatPakistan
  2. 2.Department of BotanyAbdul Wali Khan UniversityMardanPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Biotechnology and Genetic EngineeringKohat University of Science and Technology (KUST)KohatPakistan

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