Toxicological aspects of treatment to remove cyanobacterial toxins from drinking water determined using the heterozygous P53 transgenic mouse model
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The presence of toxic cyanobacteria in drinking water reservoirs renders the need to develop treatment methods for the 'safe' removal of their associated toxins. Chlorine has been shown to successfully remove a range of cyanotoxins including microcystins, cylindrospermopsin and saxitoxins. Each cyanotoxin requires specific treatment parameters, particularly solution pH and free chlorine residual. However, currently there has not been any investigation into the toxicological effect of solutions treated for the removal of these cyanotoxins by chlorine. Using the P53def transgenic mouse model male and female C57BL/6J hybrid mice were used to investigate potential cancer inducing effects from such oral dosing solutions. Both purified cyanotoxins and toxic cell-free extract cyanobacterial solutions were chlorinated and administered over 90 and 170 days (respectively) in drinking water. No increase in cancer was found in any treatment. The parent cyanotoxins, microcystins, cylindrospermopsin and saxitoxins were readily removed by chlorine. There was no significant increase in the disinfection by-products trihalomethanes or haloacetic acids, levels found were well below guideline values. Histological examination identified no effect of treatment solutions except male mice treated with chlorinated cylindrospermopsin (as a cell free extract). In this instance 40% of males were found to have fatty vacuolation in their livers, cause unknown. It is recommended that further toxicology be undertaken on chlorinated cyanobacterial solutions, particularly for non-genotoxic carcinogenic compounds, for example the Tg. AC transgenic mouse model.