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Dietary exposure of mink (Mustela vison) to fish from the upper Hudson River, New York, USA: Effects on organ mass and pathology

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The authors evaluated effects of feeding ranch mink (Mustela vison) diets containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)–contaminated fish from the upper Hudson River (New York, USA) on adult and offspring organ mass and pathology. Diets contained 2.5 to 20% Hudson River fish, providing 0.72 to 6.1 µg ΣPCBs/g feed (4.8–38 pg toxic equivalents [TEQWHO 2005]/g feed). Absolute thyroid and adrenal gland masses were increased in adult females and 31‐week‐old juveniles, respectively, and absolute liver and heart masses were decreased in six‐week‐old kits exposed to dietary PCBs. Dietary concentrations of 0.72 µg ΣPCBs/g feed (4.8 pg TEQWHO 2005/g feed) and greater induced mandibular and maxillary squamous epithelial proliferation in adult animals. The dietary concentration of ΣPCBs predicted to result in 20% incidence of jaw lesion (EC20) was 2.3 µg ΣPCBs/g feed (15 pg TEQWHO 2005/g feed), and the hepatic concentration was 2.8 µg ΣPCBs/g liver (89 pg TEQWHO 2005/g liver, wet weight). The EC20 values were greater than the dietary and hepatic concentrations predicted to result in a 20% increase in kit mortality (LC20) at six weeks of age (0.34 µg ΣPCBs/g feed or 2.6 pg TEQWHO 2005/g feed and 0.80 µg ΣPCBs/g liver or 13 pg TEQWHO 2005/g liver). However, the EC20 values reflect exposure of adults to PCBs for approximately six months, and the lethal concentration 20% values reflect exposure of offspring from conception onward. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. © 2012 SETAC

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