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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 of Golden Shiner and Channel Catfish

item Green, Chris - UAPB
item Lochmann, Steve - UAPB
item Straus, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 22, 2003
Publication Date: February 13, 2004
Citation: Green, C.C., Lochmann, S.E., Straus, D.L. Acute toxicity of isopropyl methylphosphonic acid, a breakdown product of sarin, to eggs of golden shiner and channel catfish. 48th Annual Rural Life Conference Book of Abstracts. 2004. [abstract] p.19.

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. The highest treatment concentrations for channel catfish fry caused a large change in pH. Acidification of natural waters by IMPA could be a mechanism for toxicity from a combination of high IMPA concentrations and low alkalinity. These results are critical in understanding the toxicological properties of this potential environmental contaminant.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015
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