Development of marine toxicity data for ordnance compounds

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
By: , and 



A toxicity database for ordnance compounds was generated using eight compounds of concern and marine toxicity tests with five species from different phyla. Toxicity tests and endpoints included fertilization success and embryological development with the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata; zoospore germination, germling length, and cell number with the green macroalga Ulva fasciata; survival and reproductive success of the polychaete Dinophilus gyrociliatus; larvae hatching and survival with the redfish Sciaenops ocellatus; and survival of juveniles of the opossum shrimp Americamysis bahia (formerly Mysidopsis bahia). The studied ordnance compounds were 2,4- and 2,6-dinitrotoluene, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, 1,3-dinitrobenzene, 1,3,5-trinitrobenzene, 2,4,6-trinitrophenylmethylnitramine (tetryl), 2,4,6-trinitrophenol (picric acid), and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX). The most sensitive toxicity test endpoints overall were the macroalga zoospore germination and the polychaete reproduction tests. The most toxic ordnance compounds overall were tetryl and 1,3,5-trinitrobenzene. These were also the most degradable compounds, often being reduced to very low or below-detection levels at the end of the test exposure. Among the dinitro- and trinitrotoluenes and benzenes, toxicity tended to increase with the level of nitrogenation. Picric acid and RDX were the least toxic chemicals tested overall.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Development of marine toxicity data for ordnance compounds
Series title Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
DOI 10.1007/s002440010253
Volume 41
Issue 3
Year Published 2001
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 11 p.
First page 308
Last page 318
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