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T8 AM Ecological Fate and Effects of Explosives and Related Compounds
(NIP-1115-998200) Aquatic toxicity of ordnance compounds: an overview.
Nipper, M.1, Carr, R.2, 1 Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA2 USGS, CERC, Marine Ecotoxicology Research Station, Corpus Christi, TX, USA
ABSTRACT- The environmental implications of contamination with explosives became the subject of intensified research with the decommissioning of military installations in the USA and overseas in the 1990s and potential use of such grounds for non-military activities. Explosives have been detected in surface water of numerous military installations, including bays and estuaries in addition to freshwater bodies, sometimes at exceedingly elevated concentrations. The fate and biological effects of energetic chemicals to marine and freshwater organisms has been reviewed and will be discussed. A relatively broad variety of aquatic toxicity studies exists for nitro-substituted phenol, toluene and benzene explosives and related compounds, but very little toxicological information is available for tetryl, cyclic nitramines such as RDX and HMX, and other energetic compounds such as nitrocellulose, nitroguanidine, nitroglycerin, pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), and dethyleneglycol dinitrate (DEGDN). Sublethal assessments with different categories of explosives suggest their usefulness for the interpretation of their potential long-term environmental effects. Concentrations of a variety of explosives and related compounds associated with reproductive effects were substantially lower than those promoting mortality of the cladocerans Daphnia magna and Ceriodaphnia dubia, and the marine polychaete, Dinophilus gyrociliatus. The toxicity of nitroaromatic isomers, e.g., para, ortho and meta-dinitrotoluene, is dependent on the position of the nitro groups. Unicellular organisms such as freshwater microalgae and zoospores of the marine macroalga Ulva fasciata were not only more sensitive than invertebrates and fish to a variety of ordnance compounds, but their toxicological response was influenced differently by the position of the nitro group in nitroaromatic compounds. Very little information is available on the toxic mode of action of energetic materials, and research on this subject should be encouraged.
Key words: ordnance toxicity, munition, energetic chemical, nitroaromatic
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