Toxicity of dinonylnaphthalene sulfonates to Pimephales promelas and epibenthic invertebrates Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Dinonylnaphthalene sulfonic acids (NSAs) are high production volume chemicals that are used primarily as additives in a wide range of industrial products (i.e., coatings, sealants, fuels, metal-extractants, paints, rubber materials). This study examined the effect of three NSA congeners on freshwater organisms: barium dinonylnaphthalene sulfonate (BaDNS), calcium dinonylnaphthalene sulfonate (CaDNS), and dinonylnaphthalene disulfonic acid (DNDS). Chronic effects were characterized by exposing fertilized fathead minnow eggs to sediment-associated NSAs and measuring various developmental and growth endpoints for 21 d. No effects in hatch success and larval growth were observed when fathead minnow eggs were exposed to CaDNS and DNDS concentrations up to 246 and 798 μg/g dry weight, respectively, in spiked sediment (~2% organic carbon). However, when NSAs were associated with substrate containing no organic carbon (sand), EC50s for fathead minnow hatch success, larval growth, biomass production, and overall survival were 58.3, 18.8, 15.5, and 13.8 μg/L, respectively, for CaDNS. Acute effect characterization was also conducted in water-only exposures for the three NSA congeners using the freshwater amphipod Hyalella azteca, the pulmonate snail Planorbella pilsbryi, and larval freshwater mussels Lampsilis cardium and Lampsilis siliquoidea. The sulfonate salts (BaDNS and CaDNS) were significantly more acutely toxic to all tested invertebrates in the water-only exposures, with LC50s ranging from 0.47 to 12.1 μg/L, compared to DNDS (LC50s ≥ 98.2 μg/L). This is the first study to provide empirical data on the aquatic toxicity of three NSA congeners.


  • Matten, KJ
  • Parrott, JL
  • Bartlett, AJ
  • Gillis, PL
  • Milani, D
  • Toito, J
  • Balakrishnan, VK
  • Prosser, Ryan

publication date

  • November 2020