Biotests and guidelines for investigations of biochemical disorders based upon characterisation of pollutants in landfill leachates (NT TR 518)

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  • Report #: NT TR 518
  • Approved: November 2002
  • Author(s): Ketil Haarstad, Håkon Borch, Maria Linderoth
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The objective of this project is to investigate if leachate from Norwegian landfills affect the reproductive system in fish, similar to what is found in Lake Molnbyggen in Sweden, and to evaluate and, if necessary, to adapt existing tests for biological characterisation of leachate to see whether they are suitable for detecting such disorders.

In the Norwegian fish studies none of the locations that have been investigated so far seems to have a disturbance in the gonad development to same extent to what is found in Sweden. There seems to be a large skewness in sex distribution in Lake Årungen downstream the landfill Bølstad. The GSI and LSI for Perca fluviatilis in Vennevann (Grendstøl) is different from the other lakes and somewhat out of expected range. The enzyme activities of 17?-hydroxylase and 17?-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase are not the biochemical targets for the environmental pollutant(s) causing the reproductive disorder seen in e.g. Lake Molnbyggen. This must be considered as a significant step in the pinpoint process to find the responsible site of action. Since the presented values indicate very stable and similar values between exposed and control lakes it might increase the possibility to find a specific and relevant biomarker for the endocrine disorder caused by leakage water from landfills.

Water samples separated from the exposed sediment in Lake Molnbyggen have a sulphurcontaining organic molecule that might come from pesticides (herbicides/acaricide), and also a phtalatic softener. The sediment samples themselves did not contain any obvious environmental pollutants.


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