Laboratory-to-field extrapolation: Increase in carbamazepine toxicity in a higher tier, multiple-stress experiment

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



The toxicity and environmental risk of chemicals, such as the antiepileptic drug carbamazepine (CBZ), is commonly assessed using standardized laboratory tests and laboratory-to-field extrapolation. To investigate the toxicity of CBZ to aquatic key organisms in a more complex and environmentally relevant scenario, we conducted a 32-day multiple-stress experiment in artificial indoor streams. We exposed the non-biting midge Chironomus riparius, the blackworm Lumbriculus variegatus, and the New Zealand mud snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum to 80 and 400 μg CBZ/L in six artificial indoor streams. In addition to hydraulic stress, species’ interaction, and low organic content in the sediment, organisms were co-exposed to the herbicide terbutryn (TBY) as a second chemical stressor at a concentration of 6 μg/L. The exposure to CBZ under multiple stress conditions resulted in a 10- to more than 25-fold higher toxicity in C. riparius and P. antipodarum when compared to a previous, standardized laboratory experiment. The co-exposure to TBY enhanced the adverse effects of CBZ on snails (reduced production of embryos). This effect was additive as the single exposure to TBY also reduced the reproduction of snails, most likely through the reduction of biofilm biomass. The emergence of C. riparius declined at a CBZ concentration of 400 μg/L (without the co-exposure to TBY) and at 80 μg/L in combination with TBY. The difference in sensitivity between laboratory and indoor stream experiments is indicative of a potential underestimation of risk when toxicity data are extrapolated to field conditions. The present results suggest the inclusion of non-chemical and chemical stressors in environmental hazard and risk assessments. © 2019


FachzeitschriftEcotoxicology and environmental safety
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2019

Externe IDs

Scopus 85070882692



  • Terbutryn, Chironomus, Lumbriculus, Mesocosm, Pharmaceutical, Potamopyrgus