Wear debris from automotive brake systems represents a major source of non-exhaust emissions from road traffic. Amount of brake wear debris released to the environment increased with numbers of cars. However, their impact on the environment and human health is still unknown. One of the ways how to evaluate their potential environmental impact is testing the acute aquatic toxicity on freshwater green algae.Aim of this study is evaluation of the acute aquatic toxicity of airborne brake wear debris particles on freshwater green algae Raphidocelis subcapitata. Elemental composition of collected brake wear debris after standard dynamometer test was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray fluorescence analysis and phase composition was determined by X-ray powder diffraction analysis. Particle size distribution was characterized, as well. Airborne brake wear debris contains particles in the range values from 3.98 µm (d10) to the 75.18 µm (d90) and its composition is mostly based on amorphous carbon and iron. Accumulation of these elements and compounds in the environment may pose risk to the water environment. The fifty percent effective concentration (EC50) was determined for the concentration 50.73 g/l of airborne brake wear debris to freshwater green algae Raphidocelis subcapitataKeywords: brake wear debris, acute aquatic toxicity, Raphidocelis subcapitata
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