Toxicity of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs) as single compounds and mixtures to aquatic non-target microorganisms: Experimental data and predictive models.

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Toxicity of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs) as single compounds and mixtures to aquatic non-target microorganisms: Experimental data and predictive models.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2017 May 08;142:567-577

Authors: Di Nica V, Gallet J, Villa S, Mezzanotte V

Abstract
The toxic effects of five Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs) that are widely used as active ingredients in personal care products were assessed using the bioluminescent bacterium Aliivibrio fischeri (formerly Vibrio fischeri) (Microtox® test system). The experimental results showed a relevant toxicity for almost all of the single QACs, with IC50 values lower than 1mgL(-1). Analysis of the mode of action through the application of the Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) models indicated an a-specific reactivity for most of the QACs toward A. fischeri. Only hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (ATMAC-16) behaved as a polar-narcotic, with a low reactivity toward the bacterial cell membrane. The concentration response curves of the different binary and multicomponent mixtures of QACs were also evaluated with respect to the predictions from the Concentration Addition (CA) and Independent Action (IA) models. For almost all of the binary and multicomponent mixtures (7 out of 11 mixtures tested), an agreement between the experimental and predicted ICx was observed and confirmed via application of the Model Deviation Ratio (MDR). In four cases, some deviations from the expected behaviour were observed (potential antagonistic and synergistic interactions) at concentrations on the order of hundreds of µgL(-1), which could be of environmental concern, especially in the case of synergistic effects. The analysis of aquatic ecotoxicity data and the few available values of the measured environmental concentrations (MECs) from the literature for wastewaters and receiving waterbodies suggest that a potential risk toward aquatic life cannot be excluded.

PMID: 28494277 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]