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Year : 1993
Tome : 144
Volume : 6
Pages : 515-522
Title : Sublethal incidence of pollutants on the environment : the DDT example.
Authors : V. BURGAT-SACAZE, P. BENARD, C. PETIT, P. GUERRE et O. DOSSIN.
Summary : By interacting with various reproduction events, pesticides have been involved in the rarefaction of some birds species, among which mainly predators. The role played by the DDT, regarded here as a model, is reviewed as an illustration of the organism's targets diversity. Multiple effects of DDT on reproduction are tightly associated with complex hormonal modifications. Eggshell fragilization is one of the best known consequences. Furthermore, biocumulative properties of DDT can explain both many other ill-effects and the fact that prey birds act as privileged targets. This toxicokinetical aspect is illustrated here by the 14C-DDT kinetics in the japanese quail (coturnix coturnix japonica) that shows by the mean of autoradiography that the compound can be transfered from the maternel organism to the chick. At this time, the molecular aspect of DDT action remains partly unclear but anyway the withdrawal of organochlorine insecticides appears fully justified. Though the risks of this kind of compounds are nowadays significantly decreased, they should always be carefully considered in case of (i) Handling for the purpose of toxicological studies (ii) Use as pesticides (iii) Toxicological survey programs involving wild birds.
Keywords : insecticides - DDT - reproduction - egg -autoradiography - birds.
Correspondence : C. PETIT
Adress : Centre National d'Informations Toxicologiques - CNITV Toulouse. Ecole Nationale Vtrinaire, 23, chemin des Capelles, F-31076 Toulouse Cedex.

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