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Acute Toxicity of Firefighting Chemical Formulations to Four Life Stages of Fathead Minnow

Mark P. Gaikowski,*†1 Steven J. Hamilton,† Kevin J. Buhl,† Susan F. McDonald,† and Cliff H. Summers*

*Department of Biology, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota 57069; and Columbia Environmental Research Center,
Field Research Station, †National Biological Service, RR 1 Box 295, Yankton, South Dakota 57078-9217

Abstract

Laboratory studies were conducted with four early life stages of fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas, to determine the acute toxicity of five firefighting chemical formulations in standardized soft and hard water. Egg, fry, 30-day post-hatch, and 60-day post-hatch life stages were tested with three fire retardants (Fire-Trol GTS-R, Fire-Trol LCG-R, and Phos-Chek D75-F) and two fire-suppressant foams (Phos-Chek WD-881 and Ansul Silv-Ex). Fry were generally the most sensitive life stage tested, whereas the eggs were the least sensitive life stage. Formulation toxicity was greater in hard water than in soft water for all life stages tested. Fire-suppressant foams were more toxic than the fire retardants. The 96-hr LC50s derived for fathead minnows were rank ordered from the most toxic to the least toxic formulation as follows: Phos-Chek WD-881 (13 - 32 mg/liter) > Silv-Ex (19 - 32 mg/liter) > Fire-Trol GTS-R (135 - 787 mg/liter) > Phos-Chek D75-F (168 - 2250 mg/liter) > Fire-Trol LCG-R (519 - 6705 mg/liter) (ranges are the lowest and highest 96-hr LC50 for each formulation).


This resource is based on the following source:
Gaikowski, Mark P., Steven J. Hamilton, Kevin J. Buhl, Susan F. McDonald, and 
     Cliff Summers.  1996.  Acute toxicity of firefighting chemical 
     formulations to four life stages of fathead minnow.  Ecotoxicology and 
     Environmental Safety.  34(0070):252-263.
     
This resource should be cited as:
Gaikowski, Mark P., Steven J. Hamilton, Kevin J. Buhl, Susan F. McDonald, and 
     Cliff Summers..  1996.  Acute toxicity of firefighting chemical 
     formulations to four life stages of fathead minnow.  Ecotoxicolog and 
     Environmental Safety.  34(0070):252-263.  
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. 
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/othrdata/fireweb/fathminn.htm
     (Version 02MAR98).

Table of Contents

1Current address: National Biological Service, Upper Mississippi Science Center, 2630 Fanta Reed Road, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54603 USA

Acknowledgments

This study, part of a master's thesis by the first author, was sponsored by the Interior Fire Coordinating Committee, U.S. Department of the Interior. The authors thank Dr. Y. Lio and Dr. K. Olmstead for their statistical advice; and A. Bullard, M. Ehlers, R. Harris, and J. Reynolds for their assistance in test setup and data collection; and K. Faerber for typing the manuscript.


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