National Research Council of Canada. NRC Biotechnology Research Institute
A new energetic substance hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (or CL-20) was tested for its toxicities to various ecological receptors. CL-20 (epsilon-polymorph) was amended to soil or deionized water to construct concentration gradients. Results of Microtox (15-min contact) and 96-h algae growth inhibition tests indicate that CL-20 showed no adverse effects on the bioluminescence of marine bacteria Vibrio fischeri and the cell density of freshwater green algae Selenastrum capricornutum respectively, up to its water solubility (ca. 3.6 mg 1-1). CL-20 and its possible biotransformation products did not inhibit seed germination and early seedling (16-19 d) growth of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) up to 10 000 mg kg-1 in a Sassafras sandy loam soil (SSL). Indigenous soil microorganisms in SSL and a garden soil were exposed to CL-20 for one or two weeks before dehydrogenase activity (DHA) or potential nitrification activity (PNA) were assayed. Results indicate that up to 10 000 mg kg-1 soil of CL-20 had no statistically significant effects on microbial communities measured as DHA or on the ammonium oxidizing bacteria determined as PNA in both soils. Data indicates that CL-20 was not acutely toxic to the species or microbial communities tested and that further studies are required to address the potential long-term environmental impact of CL-20 and its possible degradation products. Crown Copyright Copyright 2004 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.