John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Bioaccumulation kinetics of the conventional energetics TNT and RDX relative to insensitive munitions constituents DNAN and NTO in Rana pipiens tadpoles

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Manufacturing of explosives and their loading, assembling and packing into munitions for use in testing on training sites or battlefield has resulted in contamination of terrestrial and aquatic sites that may pose risk to populations of sensitive species. The bioaccumulative potential of the conventional explosives 2,4,6‐trinitrotoluene (TNT), hexahydro‐1,3,5‐trinitro‐1,3,5‐triazine (RDX), and of the insensitive munitions (IM; i.e., less shock sensitive) compound 2,4‐dinitroanisole (DNAN) were assessed using the Northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens. Trinitrotoluene entering the organism was readily biotransformed to aminodinitrotoluenes, while no transformation products were measured for RDX or DNAN. Uptake clearance rates were relatively slow and similar among compounds (1.32 to 2.19 L kg−1 h−1). Elimination rate, upon transfer to uncontaminated water, was very fast, resulting in the prediction of fast time to approach steady state (5 h or less) and short elimination half‐lives (1.2 h or less). A preliminary bioconcentration factor of 0.25 L kg−1 was determined for the IM compound 3‐nitro‐1,2,4‐trizole‐5‐one (NTO) indicating negligible bioaccumulative potential. Because of the rapid elimination rate for explosives, tadpoles inhabiting contaminated areas are expected to experience harmful effects only if under constant exposure conditions given that body burdens can rapidly depurate preventing tissue concentrations from persisting at levels that may cause detrimental biological effects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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