Due to the existing threat of use of CWA, many countries developed special chemical formulations dedicated to remove CWA - the so-called military decontaminants. The function of the decontaminant is to neutralize the toxic properties of the contaminant through chemical reactions: oxidation and nucleophilic substitution.
The decontaminants released to the environment may transform to toxic products which have a harmful impact on plants and other soil biota. To evaluate the impact of these chemicals on plants phytotoxicity, early growth tests with Sinapis alba, Lepidium sativum and Sorghum saccharatum were used. Parallely with standard toxkit endpoints (seed germination and root elongation, data not presented here), seed vigor indexes and germination indexes were calculated. GI is a more sensitive endpoint in phytotoxicity testing than SVI. The EC50-72h values based on GI are about 2-3 times lower than those based on SVI. Very low PNEC soil values indicate that wide usage of such compositions in case of CWA release will cause damage to vegetation in the environment.
Possible hazard and risk posed by organophosphate nerve agents (OP-NA) towards higher organisms and humans is well recognized, but scientific data about environmental effects of these compounds are still limited. The main aim of this study was to inspect if established interim military drinking water and soil standards for selected nerve agents are also safe for ecosystems. The results of this research may indicate whether taking additional decontamination actions are needed after incidental or intended release of OP-NA in the environment. Three OP-NA were selected as model compounds: soman, sarin and VX. Results from aquatic and soil ecotoxicity test were used to estimate the predicted no effect concentrations according to the EU methodology. Risk quotients were calculated both for water and soil compartments. The results of this study indicate that existing OPNA standards are underprotective for organisms living in soil and water. There is a necessity of preparing much more extensive testing strategy for chemical warfare agents’ assessment in the environment leading to reduced high uncertainty in current risk estimation.