Toxicity of chemicals and products (Contact: K. Ole Kusk and Stefan Trapp)
The effects of chemicals and products on aquatic organisms are investigated for toxicity identification and ranking of toxicity. Results are used to fill data gaps in our current knowledge, to determine concentrations predicted to have no effect on organisms and ecosystems, to set up QSAR models for predicting of ecotoxicity, and as input to environmental risk assessment. Test methods are being improved to contribute to the standardisation and development of test guidelines. Our test organisms are all non-vertebrates: unicellular green algae, aquatic plants (duckweed), marine (Acartia tonsa) and freshwater (Daphnia magna) crustaceans, bacteria (Microtox) and willows (Salix sp.). Occasionally other organisms like barley, springtails or macroalgae are included in the test battery.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (Contact: K. Ole Kusk and Henrik R. Andersen)
The impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals is studied in laboratory tests using crustaceans as test organisms. The studies cover the effect of both estrogenic and androgenic compounds on the development and reproduction of saltwater crustaceans. A method with genetically modified yeast cells (YES assay) to identify the content of estrogenic compounds has been taken up and is used to test on chemicals and complex samples like urban run-off.
Pesticides (Contact: K. Ole Kusk and Rikke T. Rosenkrantz)
The toxicity of pesticides is tested using bacteria, algae, crustaceans, duckweed, and higher plants. The research covers toxic effects of mixtures of pesticides with same and different modes of action and effects of short-term (pulse) exposure of pesticides. The main focus is on the aquatic environment, but plant uptake of pesticides is also addressed. Specific groups of pesticides are investigated to evaluate the risk assessment procedure leading to water quality criteria
Mixture toxicity (Contact: K. Ole Kusk and Anders Baun)
Mixtures of chemicals and products are studied to quantify the joint effect of similarly and dissimilarly acting chemicals. The studies also include complex environmental samples like waste water, urban stormwater, landfill leachates, and pesticide contaminated surface water from agriculture. For these tests pre-concentration and fractionation by solid-phase extraction is applied to determine overall toxicity, identify toxic components, and to evaluate impact on ecosystems. This approach has successfully been applied to various environmental samples as complementary method to traditional analytical-chemical monitoring.