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TitleGenotoxic potential of several naphthenic acids and a synthetic oil sands process-affected water in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLacaze, E., Devaux A., Bruneau A., Bony S., Sherry J., & Gagné F.
Pagination8 pages
Date Published07/2014
PublisherAquatic Toxicology
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsfederal government, fish, laboratory, naphthenic acids, tailings water, toxicity

The exploitation of oil sands has raised major environmental concerns, particularly regarding the presence of high concentration in contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and naphthenic acids (NAs) in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). The purpose of this study was, first to evaluate the genotoxic impact of OSPW-related compounds such as NAs and PAHs in a salmonid species and secondly to assess if OSPW exposure leads to genotoxicity. For this purpose, rainbow trout hepatocytes were exposed in vitro to environmentally relevant concentrations of synthetic NAs, naphtalene, benzo(a)pyrene, and extracts of synthetic OSPW (generated by a laboratory bitumen extraction) and of oil sands leaching water (OSLW, mimicking leaching of oil sands in river water). Primary DNA damage was assessed by the formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycolyase (Fpg)-modified comet assay. Genotoxicity was observed in hepatocytes exposed to several NAs, mixture of them, OSPW and OSLW extracts. The chemical structure of NAs influences the genotoxicity potential: among the NAs tested, the most cyclic NA was the most genotoxic. It also appears that genotoxicity was more marked for OSPW than for OSLW. Because exposure to OSPW led to oxidative DNA damage, while after exposure to several NAs, these types of DNA damage were limited, the NAs tested in this study could not be qualified as the only major contaminants responsible for OSPW genotoxicity. Notwithstanding, it should be noteworthy that exposure to NAs resulted in genotoxic impact at concentrations lower than those documented by literature for fresh OSPW. Further research is needed to explore the relationships between the chemical structure of NAs and their genotoxicity in the light of the distribution of NAs in fresh OSPW samples as well as in surface waters.

Locational Keywords

Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR)

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