Wednesday 20 June 2018

BioLargo Spotlight Blog Post: Toxicity Studies

As our AOS water treatment system progresses toward commercialization, one of the standard questions I am often asked is whether there are potential adverse effects of AOS-treated water on aquatic organisms and the environment. As a word to the uninitiated, every water treatment technology must answer this question before it goes commercial. It might seem counter-intuitive that it’s necessary to prove that a water treatment technology doesn’t make toxic water, but it’s necessary to demonstrate to regulatory agencies that whatever magic goes on inside your treatment device doesn’t convert water contaminants into toxic compounds. In the the industry, these are commonly known as disinfection and decontamination by-products (DBPs), and it’s necessary for every technology to prove that their DBPs are either minimal or mitigated, and that they’re not toxic.

Thankfully, things look good for the AOS – all prior tests using cultured human cells suggest that AOS-treated water isn’t toxic. Next, we are working to prove that AOS-treated water isn’t toxic to aquatic life, which is both industry standard and necessary to progress to the commercial stage. To do this, a collaboration has been established with the University of Alberta’s Dr. Greg Goss. Dr. Goss is an expert on water quality assessment using aquatic models and has previously worked on similar projects with other companies. This project, funded by the National Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, will evaluate whether long-term exposure to AOS-treated water results in any adverse effect(s) on aquatic organisms. Either rainbow trout and/or water fleas will be exposed to AOS-treated municipal wastewater effluent and the effects on reproductive fecundity and/or gene expression will be compared to trout and water fleas exposed to the same wastewater, but untreated. Furthermore, using municipal wastewater effluent spiked with known environmental contaminants, it will be possible to demonstrate if the AOS actually provides protection from the effects of known contaminant on these organisms. 

Rainbow trout

Water flea

We’re confident that the results of this study will provide the necessary evidence of the environmental safety of our innovative AOS technology. This work provides one more piece of the puzzle required for safe implementation of the AOS to provide reliable and cost-efficient water treatment to multiple industries and applications. These results will also empower us in our progress toward taking the AOS to market, as they represent a necessary and important milestone for its commercialization.

Dr. Laura Patterson-Fortin
Lead Disinfection Research Scientist and Co-CSO

What is a BioLargo Spotlight?

It’s an exciting time at BioLargo. We’re moving fast, and it can be difficult to keep our stockholders and the investing public informed of our progress. In light of this, we will be posting a series of short articles titled “BioLargo Spotlight”, highlighting certain business activities and other important information in between our required SEC filings. Of course, these do not replace our public filings, which contain more complete information than can be delivered in this forum, and thus we urge you to carefully read and rely on those filings for definitive information, and to review our risk factors and caution regarding forward-looking statements. We are optimistic about our business as we work hard to continue to grow and ultimately generate profits for our stockholders.   

Legal Disclaimer

Our attorneys remind us that while we believe these developments are important and that these small victories could add up and lead to big victories, at this stage they do not rise to the level of an official material disclosure. As the size and magnitude of these developments become material, we will naturally report that information in an 8-K and our regular SEC filings.

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