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Toxicity is an important property of environmentally considerate lubricants. To determine this property, numerous toxicity test methods have been developed using sophistical devices. Some of these tests have been adopted as is, while others have required some modification or do not work in lubrication applications. Currently, the OECD 203 guideline 203, fish, acute toxicity test, is widely used to evaluate the toxicity of lubricants using trout. This toxicity test method also requires special biological knowledge and a well-equipped laboratory. For this reason, most toxicity test methods cannot be performed in the petroleum laboratory. The bio-dipstick has two agar mediums designed to monitor microbial contamination in various industrial environments. Recently, this bio-dipstick has been successfully used for screening initial inoculums conditions for the aquatic biodegradation tests. In a similar approach, a proposed toxicity test method for lubricants was developed using a bio-dipstick. The test results showed that the proposed test method was able to differentiate the toxicity level of lubricants and also has an acceptable test precision. In addition, it gave a good correlation with the results of the OECD guideline 203 test. It appears that this toxicity test method can screen the toxicity of lubricants within a very short period of time. This paper will present a proposed toxicity test method and test results.
toxicity test method, bio-dipstick, lubricant
U.S. Army Tank Automotive, Research, Development and Engineering Center, Warren, MI