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Toxicol Ind Health. 1999 Jan-Mar;15(1-2):133-50.

Endocrine, immune, and behavioral effects of aldicarb (carbamate), atrazine (triazine) and nitrate (fertilizer) mixtures at groundwater concentrations.

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Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. (or)


This paper describes the results of 5 years of research on interactive effects of mixtures of aldicarb, atrazine, and nitrate on endocrine, immune, and nervous system function. The concentrations of chemicals used were the same order of magnitude as current maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for all three compounds. Such levels occur in groundwater across the United States. Dosing was through voluntary consumption of drinking water. We used fractional and full factorial designs with center replicates to determine multifactor effects. We used chronic doses in experiments that varied in duration from 22 to 103 days. We tested for changes in thyroid hormone levels, ability to make antibodies to foreign proteins, and aggression in wild deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, and white outbred Swiss Webster mice, Mus musculus, ND4 strain. Endocrine, immune, and behavior changes occurred due to doses of mixtures, but rarely due to single compounds at the same concentrations. Immune assay data suggest the possibility of seasonal effects at low doses. We present a multiple-level model to help interpret the data in the context of human health and biological conservation concerns. We discuss six testing deficiencies of currently registered pesticides, and suggest areas of human health concerns if present trends in pesticide use continue.

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