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  • Author or Editor: L. Várnagy x
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On day 9 or 12 of the hatching period different pesticides (parathion, methylparathion, carbendazim, 2,4-D-amine Na, phosmethylane) were applied in ecotoxicological trials. The formulations were either injected into the air space of pheasant, quail or hen eggs or hen eggs were treated by the immersion technique. The residues of pesticides were measured in samples on days 13, 14 and 16 of incubation of chicken and pheasant embryos, while the Japanese quail embryos were analysed on days 10-14 of incubation. Analytical chemistry data showed a varying degradation rate of the compounds in avian embryos of the same species. The residues directly affect the embryos, disturbing their normal development and causing pathophysiological and morphological changes.

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The effect of carbendazim, a widely applied cereal seed dressing agent, was studied in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica)during an overall period of eight weeks, consisting of a four-week feeding phase and a subsequent four-week excretion period. Body mass and feed consumption of the birds were monitored and residues of the active ingredient were determined by an analytical chemical method. During the eight-week study period, changes (either decrease or increase) directly attributable to the toxic effects of carbendazim were not found either in body mass or in feed consumption. Active ingredient levels exceeding the limit of detection were found in the liver (average: 0.0262 mg/kg) and pectoral muscle (average: 0.0236 mg/kg) of the birds and also in the egg (0.0338 mg/kg) samples. From the results it can be concluded that through the consumption of cereal seeds dressed with carbendazim, this active ingredient can be incorporated into the tissues of animals. Via the food chain, carbendazim can also enter the human organism, where it may cause various pathological changes in interaction with other chemicals.

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The influence of immersion fluid temperature on the development of the chicken embryo was studied on the day most commonly used for treating incubated eggs in teratological trials. Embryonated eggs were immersed in tap water for 30 min on the 12th day of incubation at 22–25 °C or at incubation temperature without a waiting time or after 30 min. The incubation was then continued and the eggs were processed on day 19 of the incubation period. Treatment of eggs at 22–25 °C caused a significant increase in embryonic mortality, while the 30-min waiting time did not exert an influence on embryogenesis.

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The purpose of this work was to determine the individual and combined effects of insecticide Sumithion 50 EC (50% fenitrothion) and herbicide Fusilade S (12.5% fluazifop-P-butyl) on the development of pheasant embryos. Eggs were treated by injection of various concentrations of pesticides into the air space on day 12 of incubation. Pathological examination of embryos was carried out on day 23 of the hatching period. Mortality rate, body weight data and morphological alterations were evaluated after the macroscopic examination. The skeletal staining method was used to detect deformities. The two pesticides used in combination moderated the toxic/teratogenic effects of individual treatment.

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The reproductive toxicity of lead acetate and of a fungicide formulation (Dithane M-45) containing 80% mancozeb was studied on rats. Lead acetate was applied in the feed in the following dose groups: control, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 mg/kg of diet. The three treatment groups received, in addition to the above doses of lead acetate, 4,500 mg/kg Dithane M-45 in the diet. The method was based on the OECD Guideline for Testing of Chemicals No. 415 (1981). Clinical symptoms and mortality were not found in the parent generation. The body weight of female animals decreased significantly before the pregnancy period. This tendency was also seen in males after the combination treatment. At the two high dose levels a remarkable body weight increase was seen in the female animals during the lactation period. As a result of treatment, decreased body weight of offspring was measured during the lactation period. No gross pathological changes were seen. Histological examination showed general tubulonephrosis in the experimental animals. It can be established that the administration of Dithane M-45 did not enhance the reproductive toxicity of lead acetate.

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Authors: L. Várnagy, P. Budai, Á. Zaják, T. Varga and E. Molnár

Toxicological studies on wild animals play an important role in the ecotoxicological examination of pesticides. The applied model tests enable the assessment of toxicological consequences with particular regard to the life and nutrition of wild animals in the ploughed field among plants treated with pesticides. The application of different pesticide formulations on plough-land may pose a simultaneous chemical burden to wild birds. In this model study, manifestations of the interaction between an insecticide and a herbicide were studied in pheasants. The birds were placed on lucerne in cages (48 m2) and sprayed once. The applied doses were: Sumithion 50 EC 1 litre/ha + Fusilade S 6 litres/ha (practical doses) and Sumithion 50 EC 5 litres/ha + Fusilade S 30 litres/ha. The analytically determined pesticide concentration of the lucerne was taken as a basis in the further treatment of fodder. The fodder of pheasants contained the following chemicals: 85 mg/kg Sumithion 50 EC + 510 mg/kg Fusilade S and 425 mg/kg Sumithion 50 EC + 2250 mg/kg Fusilade S. Sporadic deaths observed among the pheasants were of traumatic origin and not due to a toxic effect. The decrease of body weight was significant only at the higher dose levels. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity of the blood decreased significantly in both dose groups. On the basis of the results obtained it can be established that at the dose level used in the practice the pesticides studied do not give rise to a toxic interaction in pheasants.

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The teratogenic effects of lead acetate (Trial 1) and the possible teratogenic effect of this compound administered in combination with a fungicide containing 80% mancozeb (Trial 2) were studied in rats. The test substances were administered by gavage on Days 6-15 of gestation. In Trial 1, five groups were treated with lead acetate administered at doses of 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, 10.0 and 1000.0 mg/kg body weight (bwkg), respectively. In Trial 2, lead acetate was applied at doses of 0.1, 10.0 and 1000.0 mg/bwkg, respectively. In the latter case the dose of the pesticide was 750 mg/bwkg in all treated groups. Lead acetate was not teratogenic after a single administration. Combined administration of lead acetate and mancozeb gave rise to the following toxic effects: average maternal weight decreased during pregnancy, the ratio of live fetuses decreased after the two lowest doses, and fetal mortality increased in the lowest and in the highest dose groups. The ratio of fetal resorption was higher in all the treated groups than in the control group. A significant decrease occurred in average fetal and placental weight in each treated group as compared to the control. Maternal toxicity was expressed in paralysis of the hindlimbs in the two lowest dose groups. Maternal mortality was between 16.7 and 23.3% at the three dose levels. Phocomelia and hernia cerebri occurred as characteristic fetal developmental anomalies in all the treated groups. It is concluded that the joint administration of lead acetate and a mancozeb-containing fungicide can cause maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity and characteristic teratogenic effects.

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The insecticide formulation BI 58 EC was tested for teratogenicity in chicken embryos, with particular reference to degradation of the active ingredient (dimethoate) after the treatment of embryonated eggs. The pesticide was diluted in water to a concentration level of 0.8%, and the emulsion was injected into the air space in a volume of 0.1 ml/egg, or hen’s eggs were treated by the immersion technique. Residues of dimethoate were measured in the samples on days 13, 15 and 19 of the incubation of chicken embryos, and morphological examinations were performed simultaneously. Analytical chemistry data indicated a slower degradation of dimethoate in embryos after the immersion of eggs, and cyllosis was remarkable in this group among the sporadic developmental anomalies. The liver tissues ofboth treated groups exhibited severe fatty infiltration.

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