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Effect of flame suppressing agents and foam-forming liquids on fish

Grant number: 18/25498-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): December 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Denis Moledo de Souza Abessa
Grantee:Maysa Ueda de Carvalho
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB-CLP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista. São Vicente , SP, Brazil


Foam generators (LGE) are used worldwide in firefighting. They are composed of complex blends of polyfluorinated surfactants (PFCs) and their derivatives such as perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), internationally defined as one of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) compounds, in the Stockholm Convention. During the fire in the Port Terminal of Alemoa, there was the discarding / launching in the Santos Estuary System of LGE mixed with gasoline and ethanol. As a direct environmental consequence, the mortality of more than eight tons of fish was registered. However, the environmental damage caused by the fire has not yet been properly estimated. The literature reports that PFCs and their degradation by-products are biocompatible in various environmental matrices and tissues in a range of organisms, including man, however there are few studies on the behavior and toxicity of these mixed in the LGE formulation. The aim of this research was to study the acute and chronic toxicity of three different types of LGE (Ageo Foam, Cold Fire and F500 Fire), used to combat fire, in order to support the understanding of the impacts of these substances on ichthyofauna. Acute ecotoxicity assays (in adults) of Poecilia reticulata will be performed in order to obtain the concentration that causes lethality in 50% of subjects (EC50), lower dilution of observed effect (CEO) and concentration of unobserved effect (CENO) . The gills obtained from organisms surviving at such concentrations will be analyzed for possible histopathological damage. This ecotoxicological analysis will help to understand the risks caused by the fire and to increase the database on the effects of POPs on ichthyofauna.

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