Experiments were conducted to survey and detect differences in plasma corticosterone concentrations and intermediary metabolic enzyme activities in herring gull (Larus argentatus) embryos environmentally exposed to organochlorine contaminants in ovo. Unincubated fertile herring gull eggs were collected from an Atlantic coast control site and various Great Lakes sites in 1997 and artificially incubated in the laboratory. Liver and/or kidney tissues from approximately half of the late-stage embryos were analyzed for the activities of various intermediary metabolic enzymes known to be regulated, at least in part, by corticosteroids. Basal plasma corticosterone concentrations were determined for the remaining embryos. Yolk sacs were collected from each embryo and a subset was analyzed for organochlorine contaminants. Regression analysis of individual yolk sac organochlorine residue concentrations, or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TEQs), with individual basal plasma corticosterone concentrations indicated statistically significant inverse relationships for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDDs/PCDFs), total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), non-ortho PCBs, and TEQs. Similarly, inverse relationships were observed for the activities of two intermediary metabolic enzymes (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and malic enzyme) when regressed against PCDDs/PCDFs. Overall, these data suggest that current levels of organochlorine contamination may be affecting the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and associated intermediary metabolic pathways in environmentally exposed herring gull embryos in the Great Lakes. (+info)
(2/281) Does an association between pesticide use and subsequent declines in catch of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) represent a case of endocrine disruption?
Historical aerial applications of the insecticide Matacil 1.8D provide an opportunity to look for potential effects of the endocrine disrupting compound 4-nonylphenol (4-NP) on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) populations. Matacil 1.8D contained the carbamate insecticide aminocarb, with 4-NP as primary solvent. Between 1975 and 1985 Matacil 1.8D was applied to forests in Atlantic Canada to control damage from the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana). After spraying, estimated concentrations of 4-NP in water fell within a range in which estrogenic effects might be anticipated. The spraying coincided with final stages of smolt development in salmon. Salmon catch data were evaluated considering effects on survival of the smolt stage. There was a significant negative relationship between the returns of salmon and the proportion of tributaries sprayed within the Restigouche River drainage basin in 1977. There was also a broader event of unusually heavy salmon smolt mortality in 1977, which contains a significant relationship indicating that where Matacil 1.8D spraying occurred, the smolt mortality increased. For 16 rivers exposed to spraying between 1973 and 1990, a significant proportion (p<0.005) of the lowest salmon catches coincided with Matacil 1.8D spraying. A decline coinciding with the use of Matacil 1.8D was also apparent in blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) catches in New Brunswick. Because similar relationships were not evident for Matacil 1.8F or fenitrothion, neither of which were formulated with 4-NP, we hypothesize that the 4-NP in Matacil 1.8D was the causal agent. Concentrations of 4-NP described here are within current ranges encountered in industrial effluents and municipal sewage outfalls. (+info)
(3/281) Dermal transfer of chlorpyrifos residues from residential surfaces: comparison of hand press, hand drag, wipe, and polyurethane foam roller measurements after broadcast and aerosol pesticide applications.
Indoor residential pesticide applications present the potential for human exposures, particularly for small children. Personal contact with target and nontarget surfaces can result in transfer of pesticides to the skin, but the magnitude of such transfer is uncertain. This research compared surface sampling techniques [wipe and polyurethane foam (PUF) roller] with the removal ability of human skin following broadcast and total aerosol release applications of Dursban (Dow Elanco, Midland, MI), a residential formulation containing the insecticide chlorpyrifos. Hands were washed immediately after surface contact, following a protocol that included a laboratory-generated adjustment factor to account for incomplete removal of chlorpyrifos from skin. Chlorpyrifos transfer was similar for hand press and hand drag techniques, averaging approximately 1-6 ng/cm2 of carpet contacted. These amounts represented < 1% of the amount of chlorpyrifos deposited on the surfaces 3.5 hr earlier. Chlorpyrifos transfer from carpet to skin was 23-24 times lower than for wipe sampling and 33-36 times lower than for PUF roller sampling (p = 0.0007 and p = 0.0006 for broadcast and aerosol applications, respectively). Hand press sampling removed approximately 4.5 times less chlorpyrifos from nontarget furniture surfaces (12 ng/cm2) than did wipe sampling (56 ng/cm2; p = 0.009). Chlorpyrifos residues on carpet were substantially higher after broadcast applications than after aerosol applications, but residues on such nontarget surfaces as furniture were substantially higher for the aerosol application. This study indicates that human skin removes substantially less residue from carpets and furniture than either conventional wipe or PUF roller sampling methods following residential pest control applications of chlorpyrifos. Although this paper focuses on quantifying residue transfer from surface to skin using different surface sampling techniques, no attempt is made to quantify the amount of chlorpyrifos residue that is subsequently absorbed. (+info)
(4/281) Environmental health in the east Baltic region--pesticides and persistent organic compounds.
Exposure to, and the potential effects of, pesticides and persistent organic pollutants in the East Baltic region are reviewed. Exposure of the average population to chlorinated compounds seems lower than in most of western Europe, and current pesticide use is very low. However, due to infrastructure failures and poor management controls, industrial hot spots and inadequate storage sites exist that cause high risks to small population fractions. The low exposure of the general population is indicated by low concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans and biphenyls in milk fat. Chlorophenol concentrations are also generally lower than in Scandinavia. Some organic pesticides have been found at higher concentrations in Baltic countries and the St. Petersburg area than in Norway, but the range is roughly similar to that in central Europe. Thus the overall risk caused by pesticide residues and persistent organic compounds in the Baltic countries and northwestern Russia is low, but local sites of concern exist. (+info)
(5/281) Mortality among workers in an Italian cigarette factory.
A cohort study was conducted to evaluate the mortality pattern among female and male workers in a cigarette factory. The study followed 972 female workers and 761 male workers with at least 6 months of cumulative employment from 1 January 1962 through 1 July 1996. Among women, mortality from all causes of death [standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 0.9; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.8-1.1] and mortality from all malignant neoplasms (SMR = 1.1; CI = 0.9-1.3) were consistent with reference rates. Male workers had a significantly reduced overall mortality (SMR = 0.8; CI = 0.7-0.9), while mortality from all malignant neoplasms was as expected (SMR = 0.9; CI = 0.7-1.0). Among female workers the frequencies of deaths from diseases of nervous system (SMR = 2.0; CI = 1.1-3.4) and from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) (SMR = 2.7; CI = 1.0-5.6) were elevated at a statistically significant level. No association between duration of employment and diseases of nervous system was observed. A higher risk for NHL, based on three deaths, was reported among female workers with 15 or more years of employment (SMR = 8.1; CI = 2.2-21.0). Although based on small numbers, the excess of NHL here reported suggests that potential exposure to foliar residues of pesticides should be thoroughly considered in tobacco manufacturing. (+info)
(6/281) Breast adipose tissue concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls and other organochlorines and breast cancer risk.
Numerous studies have examined the relationship between organochlorines and breast cancer, but the results are not consistent. In most studies, organochlorines were measured in serum, but levels in breast adipose tissue are higher and represent cumulative internal exposure at the target site for breast cancer. Therefore, a hospital-based case-control study was conducted in Ontario, Canada to evaluate the association between breast cancer risk and breast adipose tissue concentrations of several organochlorines. Women scheduled for excision biopsy of the breast were enrolled and completed a questionnaire. The biopsy tissue of 217 cases and 213 benign controls frequency matched by study site and age in 5-year groups was analyzed for 14 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, total PCBs, and 10 other organochlorines, including p,p'-1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess the magnitude of risk. While adjusting for age, menopausal status, and other factors, odds ratios (ORs) were above 1.0 for almost all organochlorines except five pesticide residues. The ORs were above two in the highest concentration categories of PCB congeners 105 and 118, and the ORs for these PCBs increased linearly across categories (Ps for trend < or =0.01). Differences by menopausal status are noted especially for PCBs 105 and 118, with risks higher among premenopausal women, and for PCBs 170 and 180, with risks higher among postmenopausal women. Clear associations with breast cancer risk were demonstrated in this study for some PCBs measured in breast adipose tissue. (+info)
(7/281) Examination of selected food additives and organochlorine food contaminants for androgenic activity in vitro.
In order to produce a reporter gene assay for androgenic chemicals, a constitutive expression vector coding for the human androgen receptor and a reporter construct containing the firefly luciferase coding sequence under transcriptional control of the androgen responsive MMTV promoter were cotransfected into the androgen-insensitive human PC-3 prostate carcinoma cell line and stable transfectants selected. One colony of transfectants, PC-3 LUCAR+, was characterized further. 5alpha-Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) enhanced luciferase activity in a linear fashion for up to 3 days of culture. The Kd for DHT activation was within the range of 25.0-60.0 pM (r2 values >0.95). Flutamide competitively inhibited DHT activation (mean Ki value of 0.89 microM). Progesterone, estradiol, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone were weak agonists (100-fold less effective than DHT) and diethylstilbestrol was without effect. The effects of organochlorine food contaminants (0, 0.1, 1.0, and 10.0 microM) on luciferase activity in PC-3 LUCAR+ cells were determined after exposure to the chemical for 18 h in the presence and absence of DHT (50 pM). 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-ethylene (p,p'-DDE) induced luciferase activity in the absence of DHT (100 microM p,p'-DDE equivalent to 50 pM DHT), but in the presence of DHT (50 pM), p,p'-DDE acted antagonistically. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, kepone, butylated hydroxyanisole, and butylated hydroxytoluene all partially inhibited activation by DHT (50 pM) but alone had little or no effect. Toxaphene at 10 microM induced luciferase activity in the absence of DHT but decreased cell viability. Alpha- and delta-Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH) at 10 microM antagonized the DHT effect, but beta-HCH and gamma-HCH mirex, photomirex, oxychlordane, cis- and trans-nonachlor were without effect. Thus, of the chemicals tested, some interact with the human androgen receptor in vitro as agonists, others as antagonists, and some as partial agonists/antagonists. (+info)
(8/281) Salmonid sexual development is not consistently altered by embryonic exposure to endocrine-active chemicals.
Fish sexual development is sensitive to exogenous hormone manipulation, and salmonids have been used extensively as environmental sentinels and models for biomedical research. We simulated maternal transfer of contaminants by microinjecting rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) embryos. Fish were reared for 6 months and sexed, and gonads were removed for histology and measurement of in vitro steroid production. Analysis of fat samples showed that dichlorodiphenylethylene (DDE) levels, o, p'M-DDE and p,o, p'-DDE isomers, were elevated 6 months after treatment. A preliminary study showed an increased ratio of males to females after treatment with 80 mg/kg and 160 mg/kg of the xenoestrogen o,o, p'-DDE. One fish treated with 160 mg/kg o,o, p'-DDE had gonads with cells typical of both males and females. A follow-up study, using more fish and excluding the highly toxic 160 mg/kg o,o, p'-DDE dose, showed no effect on sex ratio or gonadal histology. Embryonic exposure of monosex male trout, monosex female trout, and mixed sex salmon to o, o, p'-DDE, p,o, p'-DDE, mixtures of DDE isomers, and octylphenol failed to alter sexual development. We observed no treatment-dependent changes in in vitro gonadal steroid production in any experiments. Trout exposed in ovo and reared to maturity spawned successfully. These results suggest that mortality attributable to the xenoestrogens o,o, p'-DDE, chlordecone, and octylphenol, and the antiandrogen p,o, p'-DDE, is likely to occur before the appearance of subtle changes in sexual development. Because trout appeared to be sensitive to endocrine disruption, we cannot dismiss the threat of heavily contaminated sites or complex mixtures to normal sexual development of salmonids or other aquatic organisms. (+info)