For the evaluation and monitoring of the water quality, a series of methodologies, which have as basis an ample variety of bioindicators, may be applied. The aim of this research was to evaluate the use of ecotoxicity assays with Daphnia magna and Danio rerio as alert systems in water contaminated with toxic substances. Using two toxicity databases, the sensibility of those aquatic organisms to a wide variety of chemical products and elements and to some chemical categories was investigated. The relation between the reference dose for human oral chronic exposure (RID) of all chemical products and the acute toxicity values for both bioindicators was also studied. Acute toxicity tests with D. magna respond to a larger variety of chemicals with a higher sensitivity than those with D. rerio. Although mammals, crustaceans and fish have different routes of exposure, target organs and toxic mechanisms, acute toxicity essays with fish and Daphnia may be used as an initial screening before mammal models are used.
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