Results are reported for the embryotoxicity of 42 environmental contaminants applied externally to mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) eggs including crude and refined petroleum, and commercial formulations of herbicides and insecticides. Many of the petroleum pollutants were embryotoxic and moderately teratogenic and had LD50s of 0.3 to 5 ?l per egg (~6?90 ?g/g egg). The most toxic was a commercial oil used for control of road dust followed by South Louisiana crude oil, Kuwait crude, no. 2 fuel oil, bunker C fuel oil, and industrial and automotive waste oil. Prudhoe Bay crude, unused crankcase oil, aviation kerosene, and aliphatic hydrocarbon mixtures were less toxic ( LD50s of 18 to over 75 ? l) and less teratogenic. The LD50s of herbicides and insecticides in aqueous emulsion were measured by egg immersion; the most toxic were paraquat and trifluralin (LD50s of about 1.5 Ibs/A; 1.7 kg/ha). Propanil, bromoxynil with MCPA, methyl diclofop, prometon, endrin, sulprofos, and parathion were toxic (LD50s of 7 to 40 Ibs/A; 7.8?44.8 kg/ha), whereas 2,4-D, glyphosate, atrazine, carbaryl, dalapon, dicamba, methomyl, and phosmet were only slightly toxic or not toxic (LD50s of 178 to over 500 Ibs/A; 199?560 kg/ha). Pesticides in nontoxic oil vehicle applied by microliter pipet were up to 18 times more toxic than when applied in water vehicle, which was probably due to better penetration of the pesticide past the eggshell and its membranes. Teratogenic effects and impaired embryonic growth are reported and results discussed in terms of potential hazard at field levels of application. A discussion is provided on the effects of pollutants on the eggs of other species of birds under laboratory and field conditions.
Additional Publication Details
Evaluation of potential embryotoxicity and teratogenicity of 42 herbicides, insecticides, and petroleum contaminants to mallard eggs
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology