Freshwater for human and animal consumption is an increasingly rare patrimony that needs to be preserved. The currently adopted disinfection process uses chloride disinfectants which, combined with organic residues, result in trihalomethane (potentially oncogenic). The aim of this work was to evaluate the cytotoxicity of five plant extracts, capable of promoting water disinfection, against six cell lines: Vero (ATCC CCl81) African green monkey cells; MDBK (ATCC CCL 24) Martin Darby Bonne kidney cells; MDCK (ATCC CCL 34) Canis familiaris kidney cells; CRFK (ATCC CCL 94) Felix catus kidney cells; PK 15 (ATCC CCL 33) Sus scrofa kidney cells; RK13 (ATCC CCL 37) Oryctolagus cuniculus kidney cells, as well as to evaluate the most sensitive cell cultures for the toxicity test of plant extracts. The most toxic extract was that of white goosefoot (Chenopodium album) against all tested cells. California arrowhead (Sagittaria montevidensis) extract had median toxicity and extracts of "erva baleeira" (Cordia curassavica), miracle leaf (Bryophyllum pinnatum [Kurz]) and colombian waxweed (Cuphea carthagenensis [Jacq.] J.F. Macbride) were the least toxic. This finding was statistically significant (p=0.99) when the plant extracts were compared regarding the concentrations and the studied cells. The most sensitive cells were VERO (monkey kidney) and CRFK (feline kidney) compared to the others (MDBK, MDCK, PK 15, RK 13), with significant difference (p=0.99). In conclusion, plant extracts must be evaluated as to their toxicity before being used as health resources and some cells are more effective than others in the detection of cytopathogenic effects.
cytotoxicity; Chenopodium; Sagittaria; Cordia; Bryophyllum; Cuphea