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Spencer Hang

Laboratory Toxicology

Poster Session




The toxicity of firefighting water additives on the embryos of the freshwater pulmonate snail Planorbella pilsbyri


With the rise of climate change resulting in drier seasons, the prevalence and intensity of forest fires have increased globally. Consequently, the use of firefighting additives on forest fires has increased globally. Firefighting water additives are mixed with water to increase the extinguishing efficacy and more effectively inhibit fire reignition. The purpose of this study was to determine the acute toxicity of five additives used in Canada, WD881®, WD881C®, LC95A®, Ecogel AB, and FireIce 561® on snail embryos. The egg masses produced in a 12 h period by mature adult snails of the species Planorbella pilsibyri (file ramshorn snail) ranging in sizes from 13-16 mm were collected for use in this study. Embryos were exposed to five concentrations of each firefighting water additive for 24 h and observed every 48 h over ten days following a water change. EC50 values for WD881®, WD881C®, LC95A®and FireIce 561® were 0.00632%, 0.00370%, 0.02574% and 0.26996%, respectively. These values are considerably lower than the recommended mixing ratios suggested by the manufacturers, and they suggest that the use of these additives over water could present a hazard to aquatic invertebrates.

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