Assessing the effects of textile leachates in fish using multiple testing methods: From gene expression to behavior


The textile industry, while of major importance in the world economy, is a toxic industry utilizing and emitting thousands of chemical substances into the aquatic environment. The aim of this project was to study the potentially harmful effects associated with the leaching of chemical residues from three different types of textiles: sportswear, childrens bath towels, and denim using different fish models (cell lines, fish larvae and juvenile fish). A combination of in vitro and in vivo test systems was used. Numerous biomarkers, ranging from gene expression, cytotoxicity and biochemical analysis to behavior, were measured to detect effects of leached chemicals. Principle findings indicate that leachates from all three types of textiles induced cytotoxicity on fish cell lines (RTgill-W1). Leachates from sportswear and towels induced mortality in zebrafish embryos, and chemical residues from sportswear reduced locomotion responses in developing larval fish. Sportswear leachate increased Cyp1a mRNA expression and EROD activity in liver of exposed brown trout. Leachates from towels induced EROD activity and VTG in rainbow trout, and these effects were mitigated by the temperature of the extraction process. All indicators of toxicity tested showed that exposure to textile leachate can cause adverse reactions in fish. These findings suggested that chemical leaching from textiles from domestic households could pose an ecotoxicological threat to the health of the aquatic environment.


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