Development and Application of Vertebrate Models to Investigate the Risk of Defense-Relevant Chemicals
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AbstractAdverse effects from unintended exposure to chemicals have been widely described and have provided the basis for many chemical and environmental management regulations and policies that are intended to protect humans, animals, and/or the environment. The present work focuses on two classes of chemicals that are tested and/or used in training activities at military sites: insensitive munitions (IMs) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). As groundwater is a common source of drinking water, accurate risk assessments are critically needed to ensure protection of the environment and public health. IMs are more resistant to accidental, unintentional or incidental detonation than traditional explosives. Incomplete detonation may deposit munition components and by-products on impacted installations and, importantly, mobilize those constituents into groundwater. One component of several IM mixtures is 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO). NTO is especially worrisome because it is highly water soluble and, thus, mobile in the environment. Additionally, laboratory tests with rodents have identified the testes and epididymides as targets of NTO. PFAS are also prevalent and problematic, nearly universal contaminants. PFAS are manufactured for use in paints, cleaning agents, non-stick cookware and food containers, water-impermeable products, and Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs). PFAS have attracted increased regulatory scrutiny because of their resistance to degradation, ability to bioaccumulate, and growing evidence of toxicity in animals. A considerable body of work has examined the effects of NTO in laboratory rodents. However, there is still uncertainty in the derivation of a safe workplace environmental exposure level (WEEL) for NTO. The present studies evaluate the effects of NTO in the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and in Sprague Dawley rats. In concert, these toxicity data on NTO will improve risk estimation efforts, provide data to explore taxa read-across, and fill a regulatory needed data-gap. The toxicity of PFAS will be evaluated in the native mammalian species, Peromyscus leucopus. Given that the serum elimination half-lives within this class of chemicals can vary greatly from hours to years based on species, sex, and dose, extrapolating between species is difficult and inaccurate. As such, wild mammalian-specific data is novel and valuable for risk estimation in taxa that are directly site-specific.
University of Maryland, Baltimore
per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances