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Keywords:

  • Diclofenac;
  • NSAID;
  • Fish toxicity;
  • Fish early life stage;
  • Bioconcentration

Abstract

Diclofenac (DCF) is a widely used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is regularly detected in surface waters. To support a robust aquatic risk assessment, two early life stage (ELS) tests, compliant with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) test guideline 210, were conducted in rainbow trout and in zebrafish. Population relevant endpoints, such as hatching, growth, and survival, and in the trout study, histopathological effects in potential target organs, were examined. The bioconcentration of DCF in rainbow trout was measured in a separate study according to OECD test guideline 305. The bioconcentration factor (BCF) in rainbow trout remained below 10, demonstrating no relevant bioconcentration of DCF in fish. In the rainbow trout ELS test, the no observed effect concentration (NOEC) including histopathology was 320 µg/L. The effect of DCF on zebrafish growth was less clear, and the NOEC can be interpreted as 10 µg/L. However, for a number of reasons, the authors consider the moderately reduced growth of zebrafish exposed to concentrations of up to 320 µg/L not a repeatable, treatment-related effect of DCF. This leads us to a conclusion that DCF has, with high probability, no adverse effect on both fish species up to 320 µg/L. This NOEC indicates a sufficient safety margin for fish populations, because concentrations of DCF in European rivers are in the range of ng/L to low µg/L. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2013;32:442–452. © 2013 SETAC