Ecotoxicological assessment of irrigation water for vegetables in a watershed region of Greater São Paulo

Priscila Marques de Maio Lacerda, AM Asano, A Morita, PJ Balsamo, R Nascimento, EP Teixeira, SP Irazusta


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the quality of irrigation water for vegetables in a Greater São Paulo watershed region. Acute and chronic ecotoxicity bioassays with Dugesia tigrina and Selenastrum capricornutum and geno/mutagenicity assays with Allium cepa were performed, as well as microbiological assays for total and thermotolerant coliforms, according to the legislation. The ecotoxicological data did not show significant toxicity in any of the samples. However, surface water genotoxic effect was detected in 2 out of the 3 points and mutagenic effect in all three sampled points, as well as in the sediment, in the Allium cepa test. Such high prevalence of total and thermotolerant coliforms in all samples at the three points indicates a compromised environmental integrity of the basin due to high loads of organic pollution, probably of clandestine origin. No emissions of industrial origin were detected in the region. Thus, taken together, the results suggest that agricultural activity itself may account for the impacts in these water bodies. The present study represents a contribution to the scarce data available in the literature about this important Greater São Paulo region.

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