Ecotoxicity and genotoxicity assessment of exhaust particulates from diesel-powered buses

Nora Kováts, András Ács, Árpád Ferincz, Anikó Kovács, Eszter Horváth, Balázs Kakasi, Beatrix Jancsek-Turóczi, András Gelencsér

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12 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8707-8713
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2013



  • Diesel exhaust emission ecotoxicity
  • Direct contact test
  • Genotoxicity
  • Kinetic luminescent bacteria test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Kováts, N., Ács, A., Ferincz, Á., Kovács, A., Horváth, E., Kakasi, B., Jancsek-Turóczi, B., & Gelencsér, A. (2013). Ecotoxicity and genotoxicity assessment of exhaust particulates from diesel-powered buses. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185(10), 8707-8713.