AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO EVALUATE CHEMICAL UPTAKE AND RESULTANT EFFECTS IN WILDLIFE
|G.P. Cobb, T.W. LaPoint, S.T. McMurry, and M.J. Hooper, Department of Environmental Toxicology and The Institute of Wildlife and Environmental Toxicology, Clemson University, Pendleton, SC 29670||
An integrated team of scientists from diverse disciplines have used a core of funds from the NIEHS Superfund Basic Research Program to launch numerous studies of hazardous substances and educational programs. State agencies, federal agencies, and industries have added to the funding to allow research and education concerning chemical fate and effects in the environment. Special emphasis has been placed on wildlife exposure through food chains and quantifying resultant effect.
Laboratory methods, developed through our research and through the research of collaborators in Superfund Basic Research Program, have been used to evaluate accumulation and effects of: 1) chlorinated hydrocarbon and mercury in avian species at an industrial Superfund site, 2) dieldrin at a Federal Facility, and 3) PCB accumulation in birds, reptiles, and amphibians a) at federal facilities, b) at uncontrolled waste sites, and c) in areas with advisories against fish consumption.
The research and education approaches involve chemists, biochemists, ecologists, and modelers. Students from many institutions and agencies are educated by these scientists in classroom, laboratory, and field situations. During research efforts, chemical concentrations are assessed in abiotic media, in lower trophic levels, and in species that occupy higher trophic levels. The ecology of organisms at the higher trophic levels are intensely monitored during an investigation. Using intense field monitoring and extensive chemical/biochemical analyses routes of exposure and resultant effects can be spatially and/or temporally resolved. These data are currently desired by regulators at Superfund sites where natural resources are potentially at risk.
When collecting chemical and biochemical data for these studies, some analyses require organ tissues and are thus lethal to the organism being studied. However several non-lethal techniques have been implemented in our approach to allow repeated assessment of chemical exposure and effect. The primary examples of such techniques are blood sampling for biochemical analyses, fecal-urate samples for evaluating pesticide exposure, and chorioallantoic membranes for chlorinated hydrocarbon exposure assessment. These non-lethal approaches allow the determination of temporal exposure and effect profiles. This research was partially supported by NIEHS grant ES04696 and DoD grant MDA-905-94-7.
Key words: pesticides, metals, exposure, toxicology
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