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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 4, p. 1063-1068
    Received: May 14, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): grimme@biology.uni-bremen.de
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Predictive Assessment of the Aquatic Toxicity of Multiple Chemical Mixtures

  1. M. Faust,
  2. R. Altenburger,
  3. T. Backhaus,
  4. W. Bödeker,
  5. M. Scholze and
  6. L. H. Grimme *
  1. Dep. of Biology & Chemistry, Univ. of Bremen, D-28334 Bremen, Germany.
    Dep. of Chemical Ecotoxicology, UFZ Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany.



Current approaches to the assessment of chemical hazards focus on toxicity studies with single, pure chemicals. In the environment, however, organisms are exposed to numerous pollutants simultaneously. We studied the toxicities of multiple mixtures of pesticides and antibiotics in algal and bacterial bioassays. The test mixtures were composed of 14 to 18 components with either identical or completely different specific mechanisms of action. The results reveal that reliable predictions of mixture toxicities can be derived from concentration response data of single toxicants by applying two different concepts: concentration addition in cases of similarly acting mixture components and independent action for substances with dissimilar mechanisms of action.

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