Lung Surfactants, Counterions, and Hysteresis

E. M. Scarpelli, K. H. Gabbay, J. A. Kochen
1965 Science  
point to general physiological effects, perhaps caused by minor gill damage or effects on other organs. While regeneration of taste buds could be expected after the treated fish was placed in clean tap water-analogous to taste bud renewal after the healing of a cut barbel nerve (13)-we have no information on corresponding repair processes in the olfactory epithelium; 4 to 6 weeks in clean water are apparently not sufficient to permit recovery from the effects of detergents on the chemical
more » ... . The chemical senses of fishes, especially olfaction, are important in many aspects of their behavior (14), and in bullheads, barbels with intact gustatory structures are required for efficient feeding (15). Fishes that rely mainly on their chemical senses for finding food will feed less efficiently in waters persistently carrying around 0.5 ppm of detergents. They may also become weakened and more susceptible to disease than normal fish. The destruction of the sense of taste in fishes by detergents may also have immediate deleterious effects; certain substances in the water are only smelled while others are only tasted. Among the latter are acids, alkalies, and some metal ions that are often present under conditions of industrial pollution (16). These substances are poisonous individually and synergistically with each other and with different pollutants. Their continued presence in natural waters sooner or later leads to an exclusion of fishes, at least near the zone of such pollution; however, fishes can survive beyond such zones. Fishes affected by detergents will be less able than normal ones to avoid certain industrial pollution zones and are more likely to be doomed. Many major rivers now have detergent levels between 0.1 and 0.2 ppm (17) though some, like the Illinois River below Chicago, remain above 0.5 ppm for 150 miles (240 km) and many smaller streams in highly populated areas also are bound to carry regionally a substantially higher detergent load than 0.1 ppm (18). The impending change-over to LAS in all commercial detergents should assure detergent concentrations well below 0.5 ppm in most natural waters, under condi-point to general physiological effects, perhaps caused by minor gill damage or effects on other organs. While regeneration of taste buds could be expected after the treated fish was placed in clean tap water-analogous to taste bud renewal after the healing of a cut barbel nerve (13)-we have no information on corresponding repair processes in the olfactory epithelium; 4 to 6 weeks in clean water are apparently not sufficient to permit recovery from the effects of detergents on the chemical senses. The chemical senses of fishes, especially olfaction, are important in many aspects of their behavior (14), and in bullheads, barbels with intact gustatory structures are required for efficient feeding (15). Fishes that rely mainly on their chemical senses for finding food will feed less efficiently in waters persistently carrying around 0.5 ppm of detergents. They may also become weakened and more susceptible to disease than normal fish. The destruction of the sense of taste in fishes by detergents may also have immediate deleterious effects; certain substances in the water are only smelled while others are only tasted. Among the latter are acids, alkalies, and some metal ions that are often present under conditions of industrial pollution (16). These substances are poisonous individually and synergistically with each other and with different pollutants. Their continued presence in natural waters sooner or later leads to an exclusion of fishes, at least near the zone of such pollution; however, fishes can survive beyond such zones. Fishes affected by detergents will be less able than normal ones to avoid certain industrial pollution zones and are more likely to be doomed. Many major rivers now have detergent levels between 0.1 and 0.2 ppm (17) though some, like the Illinois River below Chicago, remain above 0.5 ppm for 150 miles (240 km) and many smaller streams in highly populated areas also are bound to carry regionally a substantially higher detergent load than 0.1 ppm (18). The impending change-over to LAS in all commercial detergents should assure detergent concentrations well below 0.5 ppm in most natural waters, under conditions of adequate sewage treatment (19). Even if peak detergent loads occurred only temporarily, leaving the fish sufficient time to regenerate the 18 JUNE 1965
doi:10.1126/science.148.3677.1607 pmid:14287605 fatcat:tvm4v5ctdzempkpbnvgnrhmjbq