Aircraft De-Icers Hold A Hidden Hazard

POISONOUS additives from fluids used to de-ice aircraft are polluting groundwater near airports, say researchers from Western Washington University in Bellingham. The team has found the additives in high concentrations in groundwater under an airport, and their toxic effects are being felt in watercourses downstream.

Until recently, the de-icing fluids were thought to be relatively harmless because glycol-their major component-is not highly toxic. But the additives are far more toxic than glycol. "The toxicity measures [of the de-icer] didn't match up with the known toxicity of the glycols themselves," says Devon Cancilla of the Western Washington team. "When you start to test the whole solution, things just jump off the scale."

De-icer manufacturers do not reveal what additives they use, because they regard this as proprietary information. So Cancilla decided to isolate the toxic component. Using a microorganism test, he identified the culprit as a family of chemicals called tolyltriazoles, which are also used as corrosion inhibitors in car antifreeze.

Cancilla has since found tolyltriazoles in the groundwater beneath an airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Environmental Science & Technology, vol 32, p 3834). "We found it in very high concentrations," Cancilla says. This made the water extremely toxic to the test bacteria, Vibrio fischeri.

Steven Corsi of the US Geological Survey in Madison, Wisconsin, verified that water taken from the stream that drains the airport can be highly toxic to aquatic life. On three occasions when heavy de-icing had been carried out, all of the fathead minnows and water fleas he put in the water died. On a fourth occasion, less de-icer washed into the streams because an ice storm froze the runoff, but half of the organisms still died. In the summer, when de-icer is not used, more than 80 per cent of the organisms survived in all tests. "It's quite apparent that de-icer runoff is ca

Contact: Claire Bowles
New Scientist

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Spray Forming Aerospace Alloys For Bigger Aircraft
2. NCAR Scientists, Aircraft, Instruments Head To Indian Ocean For Climate ChangeExperiment; UCAR Directs Operations
3. Common Type Of Aircraft Wing Susceptible To Hazardous Icing
4. Radio Controlled Aircraft To Sniff Out Biowar Bacteria
5. Hidden diversity: DNA barcoding reveals a common butterfly is actually 10 different species
6. Hidden cost of Colorado River diversions is $2.4 billion annually
7. Hidden toxin gene in chlamydia linked to chronic illnesses
8. Geologist Finds Hidden Patterns Of Diversification In Ordovician Radiation
9. Genetically engineered organisms: Hazardous or beneficial
10. Some Smelter Slags Represent A Significant Environmental Hazard
11. Researchers Offer DOD New Hazardous Waste Clean-Up Methods

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/13/2019)... ... June 13, 2019 , ... KICVentures announced today its plans to ... and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference in Chicago on Thursday, June 13th at 6:30 pm. ... Chicago, IL in the 3rd floor Ticino Hospitality room in space #74T. , The ...
(Date:6/6/2019)... ... June 05, 2019 , ... ... of a new network station and service center in Mexico City, Mexico. Mexico ... the world — with more than $1.75 billion in pharmaceutical exports since 2015. ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... ... June 04, 2019 , ... Most preclinical EEG visualization platforms ... signals, usually based on variations of amplitude, frequency or spike train detection. In ... due to the complexity and variability of the signal, and automation tools are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/7/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... May 06, 2019 , ... ... go-to resource for the growing number of repositories being asked to store cellular ... grateful to the team of contributors who are world leaders, who have shared ...
(Date:5/4/2019)... ... May 03, 2019 , ... ... the Diopsys® ffERG/Photopic Negative Response vision test, a new full field ... it is estimated that 6.3 million Americans will have glaucoma, with black Americans ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... April 30, 2019 , ... The centuries old practice of brewing ... to local craft breweries, and even home brewing clubs scattered across the nation. ... processes, that when mastered can produce a superb product. Students at South Dakota ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... May 02, 2019 , ... ... company, will present results documenting discrepancies between U.S. insurer policies for genetic testing ... at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). , Jill ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: