In addition to soil and air monitoring, the analysis of water quality has become a fundamental task.
Although analytical methods in sensitivity have drastically improved, for toxicity detection the use of biological systems is inevitable.
Here, model organisms act as reliable indicators for harmful agents, e.g. toxins.
Toxicity tests are mainly based on the survival of organisms in the presence of test material.
Static tests permanently expose the organisms to a series of dilutions over 24 or 48 hours. Dynamic tests, in contrast, shorten the test procedure and allow continuous monitoring.
The registration of complex behaviour further reduces the response time for alarm evaluation. The difficulty with most of the current biological systems, is the restrictions imposed on testing toxins on animals.
For fish based toximeters, the restrictions prevent the ability to study the behaviour of fish in the presence of various toxins. bbe moldaenke have solved this problem by developing the Daphnia Toximeter.
Because there are no restrictions for testing on these organisms, there have been many studies done and much data available on the types of toxins that can effectively be detected.
With the potential for contamination and malicious damage of our water sources ever on the increase, can we afford not to have these instruments protecting our fresh water supplies?