Diesel exhaust is one of the major sources of fine and ultra-fine particulate matter in urban air. Toxicity of diesel-powered engine emissions has been quite widely assessed; however, much less information is available on their ecotoxicity. In our study, the kinetic version of the Vibrio fischeri bioluminescence inhibition bioassay based on the ISO 21338:2010 standard was used to characterise the ecotoxicity of diesel-powered buses. It is a direct contact test in which solid samples are tested in suspension and test organisms are in direct contact with toxic particles. The age of the selected buses fell into a wide range; the oldest one was produced in 1987. Diesel engines of different emission standards (Euro0-Euro4) were included. Measured EC 50 values of Euro0-Euro1 engine emissions fell into the same range, 1.24-0.96 μg ml-1, respectively. On the contrary, emission of Euro4 vehicle proved to be non-toxic. Genotoxic potential of the samples was also estimated, using the colorimetric SOS-chromotest™. Genotoxicity was detected also for Euro0 and Euro1 buses, showing correlation with the ecotoxic potential. The fact that the particulates from Euro4 vehicles did not show ecotoxic/genotoxic effect implies that replacing old Euro1 and Euro2 buses can be a highly effective solution for reducing environmental hazard of automotive emissions. The whole-aerosol testing method is a cheap alternative that can be used in engine developments and emission control.
- Diesel exhaust emission ecotoxicity
- Direct contact test
- Kinetic luminescent bacteria test
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law