• New Biomonitoring for Environmental Samples

Laboratory Products

New Biomonitoring for Environmental Samples

Oct 02 2006

Gentronix Ltd has launched GreenScreen® EM, for the rapid biomonitoring of genotoxic and acutely toxic contaminants in environmental samples. Providing a genotoxicity assay for non-specialists in industrial and environmental testing laboratories, the system's simple and robust "mix and read" protocol typically requires no sample pre-treatment, a low sample volume, and can be used with both fresh and saltwater samples.

Effectively assessing genotoxic contaminants in surface waters, effluents and working environments is a real and urgent problem to which there is currently no standard approach. The EU Water Framework and Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) directives both highlight carcinogens and mutagens as major pollutants of current concern.

The GreenScreen EM kit can be used to screen up to 24 samples simultaneously for toxicity, or to perform quantitative EC50 and LOEC measurements on 4 samples. The proprietary yeast reagent is combined with the aqueous samples in disposable cuvettes, and the cell fluorescence and proliferation is measured following incubation using a dedicated portable instrument to indicate the degree of genotoxicity and acute toxicity (cytotoxicity) respectively. A microplate-screening version of the assay is available for higher throughput screening.

The Environment Agency for England and Wales is investigating the applicability of GreenScreen EM for analysing industrial waste effluents, and several ?blue chip' UK companies are evaluating GreenScreen to characterise effluents from chemical manufacturing and industrial processing.

A Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sponsored evaluation project conducted at AstraZeneca Brixham Environmental Laboratory, reported by Daniel et al. in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring found that: "The Gentronix GreenScreen assay proved to have a high degree of correlation with the benchmark Daphnia and Algae screening assays, thus providing a useful preview of results expected from these screens. Furthermore, the assay is easy to perform for personnel with only basic laboratory skills, making this form of testing accessible to the environmental marketplace and effluent producers."

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