Microtox Test - Water toxicity testing

Microtox water toxicity testing system for rapid sample analysis from various water sources

Laboratory, portable and fixed toxicity analysers for fresh water, marine and wastewater monitoring

Microtox Test

JW Industrial Instruments Pty Ltd has supplied the Microtox test system to the Australian market since 1982 we have been strongly focussed on providing our customer base with this unique toxicity measurement system and holding the microtox acute reagent in stock.

For over 40 years Microtox testing has provided Environmental Protection Agencies, Universities and independent laboratories with a proven and cost effective technology to protect drinking water supplies. The Microtox system helps ensure compliance with regulatory standards and also helps researchers in their development work.

The Microtox system uses proprietary strain of bioluminescent marine bacteria Aliivibrio fischeri (Microtox®) this plays important role on the evaluation of acute toxicity, as exposing this marine organism to a dilution of the sample can simulate what is happening to marine life in water sources. We have a large bibliography of comparison studies.

The Microtox system is a biological early warning system which is sensitive to over 2,700 simple and complex chemicals. This helps in the protection of water supplies and water sources from natural or deliberate contamination.

The Microtox test results are highly correlated with other accepted toxicity testing systems such as water fleas or fish tests for example. This helps with compliance with regulatory standards. There have been hundreds of independent scientific studies that have documented the performance as an effective screening tool.

The Microtox test offers rapid analysis of your samples, results can be displayed in as little as 15 mins after the initial sample preparation. The intuitive touch screen also walks you through the testing steps and the numbered reagent read wells in the machine body help to make sure the user is guided through every step.

The next generation Microtox testing machines are now available on the market. The Microtox model LX benchtop and FX Portable are the next generation Microtox analysers taking their unique testing system from the original Microtox model 500 analyser. The Model LX has increased sensitivity with a new fully dynamic photomultiplier, the new generation Microtox testing systems also have automatic colour correction feature which adjusts the result based on the turbidity of the sample.

The sample wells and reagent wells in the instrument are automatically cooled to the optimum temperature, which helps to provide more precise and consistent results. The system is also cost effective with the cost per test lowered due to the low sample volume needed. The system is also manufactured to ISO 13485 so has full traceability.

Water Toxicity Testing

Water toxicity test kits are very common and vary from simple low-cost low accuracy, to high end methodologies. The toxicity of water is the main use of the Microtox system and it does this in a cost effective and reliable way. Aquatic toxicity testing methods vary from water flea to fish tests etc, but none are as portable and versatile as the Microtox system which is using a marine organism that is easily reconstituted and reliable.

The Microtox test system can be used for various water toxicity applications:

  • Drinking Water 
  • Rivers
  • Streams
  • Estuary
  • Lakes
  • Ocean and Sea Water
  • Marine environments
  • Stormwater
  • Industrial discharges
  • Soils and sediments
The benefits of using the Microtox system is its versatility, even though it is a non specific test it will provide the user or researcher with a fast and reliable reading of the current toxicity of the water. The the repeatability of the system allows for long term environmental studies on locations of interest. So results can be collected and plotted over long periods of time.

Typical applications for the system

  • Environmental Protection agency monitoring
  • University studies
  • Whole effluent toxicity WET test
  • Monitoring of accidental or deliberate contamination
  • Warning system providing sufficient time to take action
  • Rapid screening to check for conformity to regulatory standards
  • Checking water sources
  • Checking Process water
  • Water distribution system checks in wastewater treatment
  • Pretreatment checking of incoming contamination
  • Minimisation of process upsets
  • Environmental monitoring of sensitive environments
  • River, Stream and estuary monitoring
  • Marine environmental testing
  • Wetland monitoring
  • Pre and post construction monitoring of water sources
  • Offshore and onshore drilling fluids and drilling mud
  • Industrial wastewater and effluents
  • Medical and pharmaceutical product testing
  • Food packaging material testing
  • Personal care product analysis
  • Sediments
  • Stormwater runoff
  • Solid phase material testing
  • Process water for food and beverage

Microtox LX - The ultimate solution for rapid toxicity testing

The new generation of analysers for Microtox testing is developed with the 40 years of knowledge from the proven Microtox model 500 analyser system. The model LX brings together the core analysis module of the previous generation systems adding modern features and electronic systems. Embedded in the system is a user-friendly 7” touch screen display providing step by step guidance on testing methods and displaying analytical results. The LX system has an on board memory for historical data storage which can be exported via 3 x USB port or Bluetooth / Wifi. The system also has actively coles read, sample and reagent wells keeping the test vials at optimum temperatures.

Microtox FX - The portable solution for rapid toxicity testing

The Microtox FX provides a very sensitive rapid test to detect the two most common classes of agents, pathogens and toxic chemicals that may occur accidentally or deliberately in drinking or wastewater sources. The portability of the system makes it ideal for incident response and in field diagnostics of water and effluent.

Microtox CTM - The Continuous monitoring solution for toxicity testing

The Microtox CTM can be used for fully automatic continuous testing of water sources or effluent streams. The system is designed to be mounted next to the water source and will sample and analyse automatically. The CTM has broad ranging detection capabilities and is used as an early warning system of contamination. This enables any contamination to be managed before they become a serious contamination event.

Microtox Acute Reagent

Bioluminescent bacteria have been used for more than 40 years and are well known for their capability to detect toxic substances. The Microtox testing system uses Aliivibrio fischeri (Microtox®) a marine organism that generates light as part of its respiratory system. This makes this marine organism a useful diagnostic tool as when it is exposed to a toxic substance the light output will decline and can be measured very accurately using a photomultiplier. JWII provides the Microtox Acute reagent in Australia and holds stock of the reagent at our facility in Sydney for immediate delivery.

Microtox® Osmotic Adjusting Solution, 50 mL Bottle, AZF686019

  • Appearance:  clear, colorless liquid
  • 22% sodium chloride solution that is non-toxic
  • CAS Nos.:
  • Water:  7732-18-5
  • Sodium Chloride:  7647-14-5
  • Shelf life of approximately 1 year stored at room temperature
  • Approximately enough solution in bottle to complete 10 vials of Microtox®
    Acute Reagent (1 pack) or 20-25 tests per bottle
  • Test requires Microtox® Acute Reagent, Microtox® Diluent, Microtox®
  • Osmotic Adjusting Solution, Microtox® Reconstitution Solution and disposable
    glass cuvettes which must be purchased separatel
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Typical toxicity testing questions answered by our experts

The base of toxicity testing is normally using a specific biological species and exposing these to known amounts of the water sample. Traditionally recognised tests use water fleas and small fish species as the basis for analysis. These marine species have to be bred and kept for the test, making large scale testing difficult. Marine organisms like the marine bacteria used in the Microtox test make the logistics of keeping the biological species far simpler as these are freeze dried vials of bacteria that are simply reconstituted before use

There are different methods for testing the chemicals in water. A simple method is a test strip to simply check the PH level of the water. These change colour according to PH. If determination of the toxicity of the water is needed then a test using a biological sample such as water fleas or fish, or luminescent bacteria like the Microtox test system.

A toxicity test is normally used to check the water quality and if its toxicity will have any effect on the marine life in that environment. Toxicity testing is also used to check water quality for human consumption as well as effluent and wastewater streams to check for water quality incidents.

Microtox uses a marine organism Aliivibrio fischeri (Microtox®) which produces light as part of its respiratory system. This is used to determine the toxicity level of a sample. The freeze dried reagent is reconstituted and exposed to the sample at different concentrations. The end of the test or the EC50 point is when the light output from the bacteria has dropped to 50% meaning half of the bacteria have stopped responding due to exposure to the sample's toxicity.

Full details of the various testing methods can usually be found from your local EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Standard methods may vary from country to country. There are different bio organisms used depending on the conditions from freshwater to estuarine and marine environments. Test species will vary from water fleas, to various fish species to marine bacteria and cultures. These can either be wild caught or bred in captivity. Depending on the organism type there are various documented test methodologies. There is a correlation with most of the common tests to the Microtox testing system and we have a large bibliography of case studies and papers to draw on. If you require a comparison please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

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