Do environmental quality standards for selected nerve agents ensure safety of the ecosystems? / Czy istniejące standardy jakości środowiska dla wybranych fosforoorganicznych bojowych środków trujących zapewniają również ochronę ekosystemów?

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Abstract

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.

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