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Published on September 28, 2022


Despite available technology and the knowledge that chemical pollution damages human and ecosystem health, chemical pollution remains rampant, ineffectively monitored, rarely prevented, and only occasionally mitigated. We present a framework that helps address current major challenges in the monitoring and assessment of chemical pollution by broadening the use of the sentinel species Daphnia as a diagnostic agent of water pollution. And where prevention has failed, we propose the application of Daphnia as a bioremediation agent to help reduce hazards from chemical mixtures in the environment. By applying “omics” technologies to Daphnia exposed to real-world ambient chemical mixtures, we show improvements at detecting bioactive components of chemical mixtures, determining the potential effects of untested chemicals within mixtures, and identifying targets of toxicity. We also show that using Daphnia strains that naturally adapted to chemical pollution as removal agents of ambient chemical mixtures can sustainably improve environmental health protection. Expanding the use of Daphnia beyond its current applications in regulatory toxicology has the potential to improve both the assessment and the remediation of environmental pollution.

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