Effects of inhalation of volatilized trichloroethylene (TCE) or perchloroethylene (PCE) were assessed based on the health and population size of wild, burrowing mammals at Edwards Air Force Base (CA, USA). Organic soil-vapor concentrations were measured at three sites with aquifer contamination of TCE or PCE of 5.5 to 77 mg/L and at two uncontaminated reference sites. Population estimates of kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami and D. panamintinus) as well as hematology, blood chemistry, and histopathology of kangaroo rats and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were compared between contaminated and uncontaminated populations. Maximum soil-gas concentrations associated with groundwater contamination were less than 1.5 ??l/L of TCE and 0.07 ??l/L of PCE. Population estimates of kangaroo rats were similar at contaminated and reference sites. Hematology, blood chemistry, and histopathology of kangaroo rats and deer mice indicated no evidence of health effects caused by exposure. Trichloroethylene or PCE in groundwater and in related soil gas did not appear to reduce the size of small mammal populations or impair the health of individuals.
Additional publication details
Effects of trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene on wild rodents at Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA