Eight ecotoxicological bioassays were evaluated using 14 highly complex liquid samples, including 11 effluents from urban waste and industrial waste lixiviation. Statistical analysis of results revealed that the bioassays have widely varying sensitivities. All were informative-ideally, general ecotoxicological evaluation should spare none. However for routine evaluation of complex liquid mixtures, the Microtox® test is sufficiently sensitive and easy to use and accommodates a large range of samples. Nevertheless Microtox® does not accurately represent natural media and other bioassays, particularly mutagenic tests, are useful complements.
Bioassay, ecotoxicology, wastes, leachate.
M. Guerbet, UER Médecine Pharmacie, Laboratoire de Toxicologie, 22 Boulevard de l'Université, 76183 - Rouen Cedex, FRANCE