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Ecotoxicity of Peracetic Acid to Freshwater Fish, Macroinvertebrate, and Plant Species

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Peracetic acid (PAA) is currently under consideration as an alternative to chlorine based wastewater disinfection. However, in order for PAA to be approved for use in wastewater applications in the United States, ecotoxicity studies must be performed to verify claims that use of PAA would not cause harm to aquatic flora and fauna. This study describes the measured acute and chronic toxicities of various freshwater fish, macroinvertebrate, and algal plant species following exposure to PAA. Results of the study indicate PAA would not be expected to cause harm to freshwater ecosystems and aquatic life at residual discharged concentrations. Moreover, the measured toxicity values are also several times higher than those published for chlorine in similar test conditions, indicating use of PAA as a wastewater disinfectant could be an environmentally responsible alternative to chlorine derivatives.

Keywords: Acute Toxicity; Biocide; Chronic Toxicity; Disinfection; Fathead Minnow; Water Flea

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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