Effect of major cations and pH on the acute toxicity of cadmium to the earthworm Eisenia fetida: implications for the biotic ligand model approach.

Research paper by Lian-Zhen LZ Li, Dong-Mei DM Zhou, Xiao-San XS Luo, Peng P Wang, Quan-Ying QY Wang

Indexed on: 05 Jan '08Published on: 05 Jan '08Published in: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology


The purpose of this study was to characterize the individual effect of different cations (Ca(2+), Mg(2+), Na(+), K(+), and H(+)) on the acute toxicity of Cd to the earthworm Eisenia fetida. Higher activities of the considered cations increased the 48-h LC(50) (expressed as Cd(2+) activities) linearly to different extents in simulated soil solution. The conditional constants for the binding of H(+ )(log K = 5.41), Cd(2+ )(log K = 4.0), Ca(2+ )(log K = 3.35), Mg(2+ )(log K = 2.82), Na(+ )(log K = 1.57), and K(+ )(log K = 2.31) to the biotic ligand (BL) of E. fetida were derived from the toxicity data based on the biotic ligand model (BLM). Furthermore, it was calculated that on average 72% of the BL sites needed to be occupied by Cd(2+) to induce 50% lethal effect. Autovalidation of the model with the results of the test sets showed that 48-h LC(50 )could be predicted within a factor of two.