Toxicological responses of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) to subchronic soil exposures of 2,4-dinitrotoluene

US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Health Effects Research Program, MCHB-TS-THE, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5403, USA.
Environmental Pollution (Impact Factor: 3.9). 06/2007; 147(3):604-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2006.10.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dinitrotoluenes are used as propellants and in explosives by the military and as such have been found at relatively high concentrations in the soil. To determine whether concentrations of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) in soil are toxic to amphibians, 100 red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) were exposed to either 1500, 800, 200, 75 or 0mg 2,4-DNT/kg soil for 28 days and evaluated for indicators of toxicity. Concentrations of 2,4-DNT were less than targets and varied with time. Most salamanders exposed to concentrations exceeding 1050 mg/kg died or were moribund within the first week. Salamanders exposed to soil concentrations exceeding 345 mg/kg lost >6% of their body mass though no mortality occurred. Overt effects included a reduction in feed consumption and an increase in bucco-pharyngeal oscillations in salamanders. These results suggest that only high soil concentrations of 2,4-DNT have the potential to cause overtly toxic effects in terrestrial salamanders.

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