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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Acute Toxicity of Isopropyl Methylphosphonic Acid, a Breakdown Product of Sarin, to Eggs and Fry of Golden Shiner and Channel Catfish

Authors
item Green, Chris - UAPB
item Lochmann, Steve - UAPB
item STRAUS, DAVID

Submitted to: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2004
Publication Date: January 5, 2005
Citation: Green, C.C., Lochmann, S.E., Straus, D.L. 2005. Acute toxicity of isopropyl methylphosphonic acid, a breakdown product of sarin, to eggs and fry of golden shiner and channel catfish. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. 68:141-149.

Interpretive Summary: The United States must incinerate chemical warfare agents in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty of 1993. In the event of an accident during incineration, sarin or one of its breakdown products could be released into the environment. Sarin's main breakdown product is isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA). This study determined the acute toxicity of IMPA to golden shiner and channel catfish eggs and 15-day old fry. The concentration of IMPA that prevented 50% of the eggs from hatching for golden shiner was 66.6 ppm (hatched in 72 h) and for channel catfish was 167.5 ppm (hatched in 168 h). The concentration of IMPA that killed 50% of the fish in 96 hours for 15-day old golden shiner and channel catfish were 93.9 and 144.1 ppm IMPA, respectively. The acute toxicity of this compound will help when preparing risk assessment's for incineration of chemical warfare agents.

Technical Abstract: Several countries, including the United States, have agreed to destroy stockpiled chemical warfare agents in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty of 1993. Sarin is one of many Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA) designated for destruction. In the event of an accident during incineration, sarin or its decomposition products have the potential to be expelled into the environment. Sarin hydrolyses into isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA), a compound detected in groundwater from prior CWA production. This study determined the acute toxicity of IMPA to golden shiner, Notemigonus crysoleucas, and channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, eggs and 15-d posthatch (dph) fry. The median lethal concentration (LC50) values at time of hatch for golden shiner and channel catfish eggs were 66.6 mg/L (hatched in 72 h) and 167.5 mg/L (hatched in 168 h) IMPA, respectively. The 96-h LC50 estimates for 15-dph golden shiner and channel catfish fry were 93.9 and 144.1 mg/L IMPA, respectively. These results are critical in understanding the toxicological properties of this potential environmental contaminant.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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