Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name



Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

David K. Pitts


Emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), herbicides, pesticides, plasticizers, fire retardants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other organic waste are increasingly being detected in surface water and ground water. These contaminants can enter into the environment through wastewater treatment plant effluent and agriculture runoff. Many of these emerging contaminants tend to be biologically active at very low concentrations, typically occur in water as part of complex mixtures, and may impact biota at concentrations not detected using traditional toxicity tests (e.g. LC 50 tests).

This study focuses on utilizing novel Daphnid optical bioassays to examine the toxicity of selected emerging contaminants. The chemicals selected for this study are found in surface water. Chemicals that are known neuroactive agents were selected. Anticholineesterase, physostigmine(drug) and diazinon(insecticides)[cholinergic system], and the antidepressant, fluoxetine[serotonergic system]. Triclosan and triclocarban are antibiotics that are used in antibacterial soaps and a number of other products, and these chemicals and their transformation products resulting form photodegredation. They do not have any known biological targets within Daphni. Two different optical tracking assays were used to evaluate changes in Daphnid swimming behavior Daphnid cardio-respiratory function as a result of exposure to diazinon,fluoxetine, triclosan, triclocarban and photodegredates of the two antibiotics.