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Aquat Toxicol. 2005 Sep 30;74(4):285-93.

Unexpected effects of zinc pyrithione and imidacloprid on Japanese medaka fish (Oryzias latipes).

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Laboratory of Toxicology, Faculty of Horticulture, Chiba University, 648 Matsudo, Matsudo-shi, Chiba 271-8510, Japan.


Biological effects of the biocide zinc pyrithione (Zpt), used in anti-dandruff shampoos and antifouling paints and the agricultural insecticide imidacloprid on Japanese medaka fish (Oryzias latipes) were assessed in experimental rice fields. Both chemicals are toxic to medaka, in particular Zpt, which also causes teratogenic effects such as spinal cord deformities in embryos at very low, sublethal concentrations. Rates of malformation in medaka fry from paddies treated twice a week with anti-dandruff shampoo (0.18-0.37 microL/L each time) over a period of 4 months were within the natural background, perhaps due to the quick dissipation rate of this chemical in the environment. Both Zpt and imidacloprid caused stress syndrome in juvenile medaka, with fish from Zpt-shampoo fields having a significantly lower weight to body length ratio than those from control fields. As it often happens with stressed fish, a massive infestation by a Trichodina ectoparasite was observed in medaka from imidacloprid fields. However, despite their high stress levels, fish from the Zpt fields did not suffer such infestation, supposedly because the disinfectant action of this biocide.

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