Toxicity profile of labile preservative bronopol in water: the role of more persistent and toxic transformation products.
Environ Pollut. 2011 Feb;159(2):609-15. Epub 2010 Oct 29. PMID: 21035931
Key Laboratory of Industrial Ecology and Environmental Engineering (Ministry of Education), School of Environmental Science and Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, PR China.
Transformation products usually differ in environmental behaviors and toxicological properties from the parent contaminants, and probably cause potential risks to the environment. Toxicity evolution of a labile preservative, bronopol, upon primary aquatic degradation processes was investigated. Bronopol rapidly hydrolyzed in natural waters, and primarily produced more stable 2-bromo-2-nitroethanol (BNE) and bromonitromethane (BNM). Light enhanced degradation of the targeted compounds with water site specific photoactivity. The bond order analysis theoretically revealed that the reversible retroaldol reactions were primary degradation routes for bronopol and BNE. Judging from toxicity assays and the relative pesticide toxicity index, these degradation products (i.e., BNE and BNM), more persistent and higher toxic than the parent, probably accumulated in natural waters and resulted in higher or prolonging adverse impacts. Therefore, these transformation products should be included into the assessment of ecological risks of non-persistent and low toxic chemicals such as the preservative bronopol.