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Assessment of the genotoxicity of produced water discharges associated with oil and gas production using a fish embryo and larval test

, : Assessment of the genotoxicity of produced water discharges associated with oil and gas production using a fish embryo and larval test. Marine Environmental Research 28(1-4): 303-308

Widespread discharge of produced waters (PW) into brackish and marine waters of the northwest Gulf of Mexico, which serve as spawning grounds for many commercially important species of fish, has raised concern over the potential impact that these complex mixtures may have on aquatic life. In the present study, the results of investigations which assess the clastogenic effects of production water discharged as the result of oil and gas production activity at two coastal sites are reported. In order to assess the impact of the PW discharges on spawning populations of aquatic organisms, chromosome aberration analysis was performed on Cyprinodon variegatus embryos 4–7 days old, which were exposed directly to varying dilutions of PW collected at Pass Fourchon and Timbalier Island for a period of 5 days. Metaphase chromosomes were scored (percentage aberration per 100 metaphases) for aberrations at a magnification of 1000 ×. When compared to the control treatment, higher levels of chromosomal aberrations were observed for treatments (2 and 4% PW) in which embryos were exposed to PW from Pass Fourchon or Timbalier Island. A maximum frequency of 13% was found to occur at the highest test concentration (4% PW), with most of these expressed as breaks (chromatid and chromosome). In contrast, exposure to water from the enclosed canal at Fourchon resulted in the formation of chromosome breaks and changes in ploidy.


DOI: 10.1016/0141-1136(89)90250-x

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