Application of Cost-Effective Biological Tools for Assessing of Chemical Poisoning

Malev O, Sauerborn Klobučar R, Tišler T, Drobne D, Trebše P
[ site ] Nanotechnology to Aid Chemical and Biological Defense. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology, 2015

There is an enormous amount of new chemicals emerging every day with potential adverse effects for humans and environment. To assess these chemicals we need cost effective and reliable biological tools. Here we present in detail one of many bioassays suited for assessing chemical poisoning in the environment. This is a terrestrial isopod single-species test. Advantages of this test with terrestrial isopods are its flexibility in terms of exposure duration and versatile biomarker selection. By alternating test duration, one can test also those substances which are with moderate or low toxic potential; while a variety of biomarkers at different levels of biological complexity increase the relevance of tests results. In addition to laboratory single-species tests, terrestrial isopods could also be used for biomonitoring of pollutants. So far, this was thoroughly assessed in case of metal pollution, although isopods have a potential to be used also for biomonitoring of some organic substances and metal based nanoparticles. This is usually not the case in other standardised ecotoxicity tests species. In addition, we discuss that at present, we do not need completely new tests for emerging substances like new generations pesticides, personal care products and products of nanotechnologies, but is sufficient to adopt and modify existing test protocols.