Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (Arch Environ Contam Toxicol )

Publisher: Springer Verlag


Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology is a repository of significant, full-length articles describing original experimental or theoretical research work pertaining to the scientific aspects of contaminants in the environment. It provides a place for the publication of detailed, definitive, complete, credible reports concerning advances and discoveries in the fields of air, water, and soil contamination and pollution, human health aspects, and in disciplines concerned with the introduction, presence, and effects of deleterious substances in the total environment. Acceptable manuscripts for the Archives are the ones that deal with some aspects of environmental contaminants, including those that lie in the domains of analytical chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, agricultural, air, water, and soil chemistry.

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    Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology (Online), Environmental contamination and toxicology
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Publications in this journal

  • Tamara O Luna, Stephanie C Plautz, Christopher J Salice
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    ABSTRACT: Many pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) enter the environment continuously. Because these chemicals are not intended for environmental applications, testing for environmental effects is not mandatory, and thus relatively little is known about their ecological effects, particularly on invertebrate species. To better understand the effects of PPCPs on freshwater invertebrates, we exposed the water flea Daphnia magna to environmentally relevant concentrations of the pharmaceuticals 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) and fluoxetine both individually and as a mixture for 40 days. Exposure to EE2 decreased the number of neonates produced per female at 0.1 and 1.0 µg/L EE2, whereas fluoxetine increased mortality and neonate production at 100 µg/L. Exposure to the mixture of EE2 + fluoxetine increased time to first reproduction in medium and high mixture treatments and decreased time to death and neonate production in the high mixture treatment. When these individual parameters were integrated into a demographic model, population growth rate decreased when D. magna were exposed to 0.1 and 1.0 µg/L EE2, 100 µg/L fluoxetine, and low and high mixture treatments. When we compared the results of our extended 40 day exposures with data from only the first 21 days, the standard duration of chronic toxicity tests with D. magna, the effects of pharmaceutical exposure were generally significant at lower chemical concentrations during the 21-day period compared with the 40-day exposures, which points to the importance of exposure duration in drawing inferences from toxicity studies.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
  • Dnyanada Khanolkar, S K Dubey, Milind Mohan Naik
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    ABSTRACT: Tributyltin chloride (TBTCl) has been used extensively as an antifouling agent in ship paints, which results in the contamination of aquatic sites. These contaminated sites serve as enrichment areas for TBTCl-resistant bacterial strains. One TBTCl-resistant bacterial strain was isolated from the sediments of Zuari estuary, Goa, India, which is a major hub of various ship-building activities. Based on biochemical characteristics and 16S rDNA sequence analysis, this bacterial strain was identified as Alcaligenes faecalis and designated as strain SD5. It could degrade ≥3 mM TBTCl by using it as a sole carbon source and transform it into the less toxic dibutyltin chloride, which was confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy. Interestingly, this bacterial strain also showed enhanced exopolysaccharide and siderophore production when cells were exposed to toxic levels of TBTCl, suggesting their involvement in conferring resistance to this antifouling biocide as well as degradative capability respectively.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
  • Miren Begoña Zubero, Juan J Aurrekoetxea, Mario Murcia, Jesus M Ibarluzea, Fernando Goñi, Cristina Jiménez, Ferran Ballester
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the measures adopted, levels of organochlorine compounds (OCs) are still being detected in the human body. This study aimed to explore factors related to changes in the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticide OCs in blood samples obtained from a general population cohort. Two cross-sectional samples were taken from 162 adults (2-75 years of age), with a gap of 2 years, from four areas in Biscay (Spain). More than 75 % had quantifiable levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, and PCBs 138 153 and 180. During this time, significant changes were observed: PCB 180 and HCB levels increased, and PCB 138 and β-HCH levels decreased. Regarding age, this study shows a decrease suggesting a cohort effect. The period was not related to the decrease of levels in all age intervals, but a statistically significant increase of PCBs in older people was found. High body mass index was associated with lower PCB 180 levels and greater HCH levels. Inversely, greater levels of HCB and β-HCH were in those who had lost weight before the study. Levels of HCB and β-HCH were also greater in women who had had children, although they were lower in those who breastfed. Levels of these same OCs were greater in fish consumers, whereas those of PCBs 138 and 153 were greater in those who consumed local produce; all of these trends were close to significance. Efforts should continue to decrease exposure to these pollutants and to assess their influence on general population.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: A method was developed for the extraction and analysis of 2 organophosphate, 8 pyrethroid, and 5 neonicotinoid insecticides from the same water sample. A salted liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) was optimized with a solid-phase extraction (SPE) step that separated the organophosphates (OPs) and pyrethroids from the neonicotinoids. Factors that were optimized included volume of solvent and amount of salt used in the LLE, homogenization time for the LLE, and type and volume of eluting solvent used for the SPE. The OPs and pyrethroids were quantified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the neonicotinoids were quantified using liquid chromatography-diode array detector. Results showed that the optimized method was accurate, precise, reproducible, and robust; recoveries in river water spiked with 100 ng L(-1) of each of the insecticides were all between 86 and 114 % with RSDs between 2 and 8 %. The method was also sensitive with method detection limits ranging from 0.1 to 27.2 ng L(-1) depending on compounds and matrices. The optimized method was thus appropriate for the simultaneous extraction of 15 widely applied insecticides from three different classes and was shown to provide valuable information on their environmental fate from field-collected aqueous samples.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
  • Manuel Tejada, Carlos García, Teresa Hernández, Isidoro Gómez
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    ABSTRACT: We performed a laboratory study into the effect of cypermethrin insecticide applied to different concentrations on biological properties in two soils [Typic Xerofluvent (soil A) and Xerollic Calciorthid (soil B)]. Two kg of each soil were polluted with cypermethrin at a rate of 60, 300, 600, and 1,200 g ha(-1) (C1, C2, C3, and C4 treatments). A nonpolluted soil was used as a control (C0 treatment). For all treatments and each experimental soil, soil dehydrogenase, urease, β-glucosidase, phosphatase, and arylsulphatase activities and soil microbial community were analysed by phospholipid fatty acids, which were measured at six incubation times (3, 7, 15, 30, 60, and 90 days). The behavior of the enzymatic activities and microbial population were dependent on the dose of insecticide applied to the soil. Compared with the C0 treatment, in soil A, the maximum inhibition of the enzymatic activities was at 15, 30, 45, and 90 days for the C1, C2, C3, and C4 treatments, respectively. However, in soil B, the maximum inhibition occurred at 7, 15, 30, and 45 days for the C1, C2, C3, and C4 treatments, respectively. These results suggest that the cypermethrin insecticide caused a negative effect on soil enzymatic activities and microbial diversity. This negative impact was greater when a greater dose of insecticide was used; this impact was also greater in soil with lower organic matter content. For both soils, and from these respective days onward, the enzymatic activities and microbial populations progressively increased by the end of the experimental period. This is possibly due to the fact that the insecticide or its breakdown products and killed microbial cells, subsequently killed by the insecticide, are being used as a source of energy or as a carbon source for the surviving microorganisms for cell proliferation.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
  • Álvaro Alonso, Julio A Camargo
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    ABSTRACT: Aquatic animals can be exposed to fluctuating concentrations of toxicants. In fact, for some toxicants (i.e., pesticides, ammonia), discontinuous exposure is more environmentally relevant than constant exposure. Responses of aquatic animals to each type of exposure may be different. However, despite the high ecological relevance of behaviour, there is still scarce information on the effects of discontinuous exposure on behaviour. Our study focused on the assessment of unionized ammonia toxicity on the behaviour of a freshwater planarian under continuous exposure (3 days of exposure and 18 days of recovery) versus discontinuous exposure (3 pulses of 1 day with 6 days of recovery between pulses = total 3 days of exposure and 18 days of recovery). Behaviour was assessed as locomotion activity. Bioassays with continuous and discontinuous exposure were performed with one control and five unionized ammonia concentrations (0.14-0.35 mg N-NH3/L). Unionized ammonia in continuous exposure caused less impact on behaviour than equivalent concentrations provided in a discontinuous exposure. By contrast, continuous exposures caused more impact on survival. The discontinuous exposure may allow detoxification during recovery periods, thus increasing the probability of survival in the next pulse. Under continuous exposure, the mortality threshold could be exceeded, and animals could die in greater proportion during exposure as well as the recovery period. We conclude that behavioural activity was a sensitive endpoint to assess the contrasting effects of continuous versus discontinuous exposure and that the response of planarians to discontinuous exposure is different to its response to continuous exposure.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
  • Xiang-Bo Xu, Ya-Juan Shi, Yong-Long Lu, Xiao-Qi Zheng, R J Ritchie
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    ABSTRACT: The toxic effects of the ubiquitous pollutant 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) on the earthworm Eisenia fetida were assessed by determining growth-inhibition and gene transcript levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione transferase (GST), and transcriptional changes of the stress-response gene (heat-shock protein 70 [Hsp70]). Somatic growth and growth-inhibition rates in all BDE-47-treated groups were significantly different from those of the controls. The SOD gene transcripts were upregulated at all exposure doses and reached the maximum at the concentration of 400 mg/kg dry weight (dw) (3.84-fold, P < 0.01), which protected earthworms from oxidative stresses. However, downregulation of CAT and Hsp70 was present in all exposure doses and reached to the minimum at concentrations of 400 mg/kg dw (0.07-fold, P < 0.01 and 0.06-fold, P < 0.01, respectively). Upregulation of GST gene transcript level presented significant changes at concentrations of 10 (2.69-fold, P < 0.05) and 100 mg/kg dw (2.55-fold, P < 0.05). SOD maintained a dynamic balance to upregulate SOD expression to eliminate superoxide radicals in all dosage treatments, but downregulation of CAT decreased the ability to eliminate hydrogen peroxide. These changes could result in biochemical and physiological disturbances in earthworms.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Temporary ponds, where many amphibians from temperate regions breed, show an annual cycle with a maximum water volume in spring followed by a progressive desiccation throughout late spring and summer. This desiccation leads to a decrease in dissolved oxygen and an increase in nitrogen levels, which can additionally increase because of anthropogenic sources such as chemical fertilizers. We analyzed the toxicity posed by environmentally relevant levels of a common nitrogenous fertilizer, ammonium nitrate, at different conditions of oxygen availability to Bufo calamita tadpoles, which typically develop in ephemeral ponds. Ammonium nitrate (90.3 mg N-NO3NH4/l) and hypoxic conditions (initial dissolved oxygen 4.53 ± 0.40 mg/l) caused significant lethal effects after 7 and 12 days of exposure, respectively. At the end of experiment (16 days), mortality rates were 32.5 % in individuals exposed to the fertilizer and 15 % in those growing under hypoxic conditions. When both stressors were combined, they showed an additive effect on tadpole survival. Malformations, such as oedemas and spinal curvatures, and locomotory abnormalities, were detected after 12 days of experiment in >90 % of individuals exposed to 45.2 mg N-NO3NH4/l under hypoxic conditions, whereas none of these stressors by separate related to abnormality rates >35 %. Delayed development was also observed in tadpoles exposed to ammonium nitrate with hypoxia affecting developmental rate only after 12 days of exposure. The results are discussed in terms of potential mechanisms linking negative effects of both factors as well as in terms of potential alterations of the ecological plasticity that often allows amphibians to survive in unpredictable environments.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Aquatic organisms are often exposed to mixtures of low levels of pollutants whose presence and effects can pass easily unnoticed if only traditional monitoring strategies are employed. The main aim of this work was to assess the presence and effects of trace levels of pollutants in a scarcely affected area through the combination of chemical and biological approaches. Sediments were collected along a river with little anthropogenic pressure and assayed for cytochrome P450 (Cyp1a)-dependent ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity with the rainbow trout gonadal cell line RTG-2. Chemical analyses were performed in these sediments using two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Sediment samples induced EROD activity, and chemical analyses evidenced the presence of a wide variety of contaminants in the range of nanograms per gram of dry weight. Correlation analysis between EROD induction and chemical analyses data showed an r value of 0.840 (p < 0.05). In addition, fish from a fish farm located downstream of the sampling points exhibited high hepatic EROD levels as well as an induced expression of cyp1a and cyp3a. In conclusion, only an appropriate combination of biological and chemical techniques allowed the detection of the presence of trace levels of contaminants in a theoretically nonaffected river
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine the effects of salinity on metal uptake and metallothionein (MT) mRNA levels in tilapia exposed to three metal ions. Male Oreochromis niloticus × O. aureus juveniles (hereafter, "tilapia") were exposed to various concentrations (100, 500, and 1 ppm) of metal ions (Cd(2+), Cu(2+) and Zn(2+)) in freshwater and water with two levels of salinity (10 and 20 ppt) for 7 days. Tests were then performed to investigate the effects of salinity on metal concentrations and MT mRNA induction in the test subjects' organs. Saline decreased cadmium (Cd) uptake and MT mRNA fold induction in various internal organs, but it did not enhance MT mRNA induction in the gills. Exposure to Cu(2+) caused greater copper (Cu) levels in the brains, intestines and livers, but Cu uptake in the intestines and kidneys occurred only at 10 ppm. MT mRNA induction caused by Cu(2+) was observed in various internal organs, but it occurred in the gills only at greater levels of salinity. Exposure at greater salinities also decreased zinc (Zn) uptake and MT mRNA induction in all organs except the gills. Although greater salinity decreased Cd and Zn uptake, the metal content in the water correlated with the MT mRNA levels in most of the organs, except for the intestines. In conclusion, metal accumulations in the livers and kidneys of tilapia correlated with MT mRNA levels. The levels of MT mRNA in the livers and kidneys of tilapia might therefore be used as biomarkers of exposure to Cd(2+), Cu(2+) and Zn(2+) in water of various salinities.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were assessed in the edible tissues of Crassrotrea corteziensis oysters collected during the rainy and dry seasons in 27 sites from 8 coastal lagoons of the southeast Gulf of California. In addition, C. palmula oysters were sampled at 9 sites from the same mangrove roots where C. corteziensis oysters were collected. Metal analyses were performed by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (Cd, Cu, and Zn), graphite furnace (Pb), and cold vapor detection (Hg). The obtained mean levels were (µg g(-1) dry weight) as follows: Cd 6.05 ± 2.77, Cu 60.0 ± 33.4, Hg 0.38 ± 0.17, Pb 1.11 ± 0.63, and Zn 777 ± 528 µg g(-1). For all metals except Hg, the concentrations were greater during dry season than during rainy seasons. The high levels, particularly that for Cd, were related to upwelling along the eastern Gulf of California. High Hg levels in the rainy season were associated with the transport of materials from the watershed to the lagoon. Shrimp farming, agriculture, and other sources were considered as potential sources to explain the differences in metal bioavailability in the 8 lagoons. The mean concentrations of Cd (Santa María-La Reforma lagoon), Cu [San Ignacio-Navachiste-El Macapule (SINM), Urías (URI), and Altata-Ensenada del Pabellón lagoons], and zinc (Zn) (URI, Santa María-Ohuira-Topolobampo, El Colorado, and SINM lagoons) during the dry season were greater than the maximum permissible limits. C. palmula collected in 8 sites where they were present simultaneously with C. corteziensis had consistently greater metal levels than C. corteziensis, but correlation analyses showed a high and significant (P < 0.05) correlation between metal concentrations in both species. The correlation equations obtained are useful where the same species is not distributed and is necessary to compare results from distinct regions.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: This letter to the editor rebuts flawed analyses made by O'Reilly (2014) and points out duplicative comments that have already been rebutted in the peer-reviewed literature. O'Reilly (2014) provides little new scientific information on the source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments, and the author stands by the results of her research. Note: the online version is available at:
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 01/2015; 68(1):4-8.
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    ABSTRACT: The Lima River is a Spanish-Portuguese water body. Notwithstanding the fact that the river incorporates protected natural areas, levels of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) within its waters have never been measured; such EDCs include the following: natural and pharmaceutical oestrogens (17β-estradiol, E1, and 17α-ethynylestradiol), industrial and household pollutants (4-octylphenol, 4-nonylphenol, and their monoethoxylates and diethoxylates, and bisphenol A), phytoestrogens (formononetin, biochanin A, daidzein, genistein), and phytosterols (namely, sitosterol). To obtain an understanding of levels of EDCs, water samples were taken from eight sampling sites along the river every 2 months during a 1-year period (2011). The water samples were preconcentrated (Oasis HLB cartridges), cleaned (silica cartridges), and analysed using gas chromatography. Results showed that levels of oestrogens and industrial and household pollutants were higher in summer than in other seasons. Although oestrogens were more abundant (approximately 40 ng/L) on the southern margin of the river, levels of other pollutants were higher (approximately 124 ng/L) in the north. Phytoestrogens and sitosterol showed clear seasonal fluctuations with higher amounts of formononetin (approximately 389 ng/L), biochanin A (approximately 160 ng/L), and sitosterol (≥5 µg/L) measured in summer. The overall oestrogenic load, expressed in ethynylestradiol equivalents, was 18 ng/L for oestrogens, 0.5 ng/L for industrial and household pollutants, and 13 ng/L for phytoestrogens. Water physicochemical parameters indicate anthropogenic pollution because Σnitrites,nitrates (>1 mg/L) and phosphates (approximately 0.4 mg/L) were high. The study showed that the waters of the Lima River are subject to impacts and that levels of EDCs pose risks to the river's biota.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 07/2014;