What is toxicity testing?
QwikLiteTM uses a non-specific and universal test method for detecting for contaminants at toxic levels. It is used as an evaluation of a sample and its likelihood of potential harm to organisms. A Toxicity Test is a procedure to determine the toxicity of a chemical or an effluent using living organisms. A toxicity test measures the degree that a specific chemical or effluent affects exposed test organisms. Toxicity tests are based on the principle that the response of a living organism to the presence (exposure) of toxic agents is dependent upon the dose (exposure level) of the toxic agent. There are many types of toxicity tests (acute, chronic, static, flow-through). The most common application for QwikLite is the Acute Toxicity Test. This is a short-term test designed to measure the effects of toxic agents on aquatic species during a short portion of their life span.
What harmful substances can QwikLite detect?
QwikLite is used to assess contamination in freshwater, seawater and sediments. If there is something harmful or highly toxic in the sample, whether inorganic or organic, QwikLite will detect it. Some examples of potentially toxic substances are: Copper, Lead, Zinc, Ammonia, Hydrogen Sulfide, Silver, Cadmium, Iron, Phenol, and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), and storm drain effluents.
Are the Test Cartridges and packaging recyclable?
The Test Cartridge cuvettes and snap top covers ARE recyclable , however they can only be used for one test. Once cartridges have been used to test a sample, cuvettes and snap top covers should be removed and recycled in accordance with plastic recycling protocols. Similarly packaging boxes and the white carousels are recyclable and should be returned to Assure Controls for reuse as part of our "Assure A Sustainable Planet" program. Use the self-addressed, stamped return label enclosed to return the cartridges (be sure to remove and dispose of the cuvettes first) in this box for discounts on future purchases.
Caution: If the test sample has potentially harmful substances (ex., metals or other toxic substances) then dispose of cuvettes by following your facility's standard laboratory guidelines for disposal. A specific trash container for handling such substances may be available.
Are the marine dinoflagellates (specifically Pyrocystis lunula) harmful or toxic to the environment?
Pyrocystis lunula is non-toxic to the environment. They can be commonly found in about 80% of the tropical and subtropical seas.
If I dispose of these test organisms in the trash, how do I know it will not be toxic or harmful if it reaches the sewer or other waterways?
Once they are disposed of in the trash, they will probably die as they no longer have the conditions to survive (light or energy) and water to grow. Even if some organisms reached waterways they are still not toxic.
What are the advantages of this test method over current methods?
Most aquatic research organisms are much more difficult to use and often die from the testing process, regardless of toxicity. The procedures are time consuming and detailed, there can be variability from laboratory to laboratory and from technician to technician. The contaminant testing process with species other than dinoflagellates takes three to seven days to complete. Therefore, test results using other species are often inaccurate and must be repeated. In comparison, marine plankton (dinoflagellates) are easy to set up and testing requires minimal laboratory space or equipment. Based on experience as well as in-field use, the test results can be achieved in 24 hours. Minimal training is needed to perform toxicity testing. As a result, large areas can be screened in a relatively short period of time, and for less cost than typical laboratory testing methods.