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Blood changes in mallards exposed to white phosphorus

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

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Abstract

White phosphorus (P4) has been extensively used by the military for various purposes including marking artillery impacts and as an obscurant. Target practice in an Alaskan tidal marsh during the last four decades has deposited large amounts of P4 particles in sediments and water which have resulted in die-offs of several waterfowl species. Because the toxicity of P4 in birds has not been well documented and because it is quickly excreted or metabolized in living animals, we sought to determine the effects of experimental dosing on blood characteristics in game farm mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). In two experiments, one employing single doses of 5.4 mg P4/kg body weight in corn oil and the other using daily repeated doses of pelletized P4 at either 0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg, there were significant changes in AST, ALT, LDH, inorganic P, hematocrit and hemoglobin. Other indications of exposure included changes in uric acid, creatinine, and total protein which were consistent with reported liver and kidney damage due to this contaminant. Changes in white blood cells included a greater frequency of thrombocytes and fewer lymphocytes in dosed birds compared to controls. A biomarker of exposure based on LDH activity and hemoglobin is proposed.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Blood changes in mallards exposed to white phosphorus
Series title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume
17
Issue:
12
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
2521-2529
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page:
2521
Last page:
2529
Number of Pages:
9