A 2.5-year genotoxicity profile for a partially restored polluted river

Nanthawan Avishai, Claudette Rabinowitz, Baruch Rinkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluates water genotoxicity of the Kishon River, the most polluted river in Israel that is under restoration. Water samples were collected every other month (January 2001-May 2003) from five sites, and genotoxicity was assayed by the alkaline comet assay using a fish hepatoma cell line (RTH-149). Genotoxicity in the Kishon River was reduced during 2002 as compared to the previous year. The results further revealed fluctuations in genotoxicity levels at all sites throughout the studied period with variations for the same month during consecutive years and seasonality. In general, summer samples were more genotoxic than winter samples. In the vast majority of the 75 water samples, all four parameters for genotoxicity that were employed revealed significant higher genotoxic levels than the controls. Comet percentage values in Kishon River samples were, on average, 1.8-2.4 times higher than controls. Damage score, comet tail length, and cumulative tail length values were 2.2-3.1, 2.4-3.7, and 2.4-3.7 times higher than controls, respectively. The Histadrut Bridge and Haifa fishing harbor (3.0 m depth) emerged as the most polluted sites, whereas Kiryat Haroshetwasthe least contaminated. Results call for a long-term genotoxicity follow-up plan at the Kishon River in order to assess the possibly evolving chronic genotoxicity state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3482-3487
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number13
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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