John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Growth and reproductive effects from dietary exposure to Aroclor 1268 in mink (Neovison vison), a surrogate model for marine mammals

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the commercial mixture Aroclor 1268 were historically released into the Turtle‐Brunswick River Estuary (TBRE, southeastern Georgia, USA) from industrial operations. Sum PCBs (ΣPCBs) in blubber samples from TBRE bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have been reported at concentrations more than 10‐fold higher than those observed in dolphins from adjacent regional estuaries. Given that toxicity data specific to Aroclor 1268 and applicable to marine mammals are limited, predicting the toxic effects of Aroclor 1268 in dolphins is uncertain, particularly due to its unique congener profile and associated physiochemical characteristics compared to other PCB mixtures. American mink (Neovison vison) were chosen as a surrogate model for cetaceans to develop marine mammalian PCB toxicity benchmarks. Mink are a suitable surrogate species for cetaceans in toxicity studies because of similarities in diet and taxonomic class, and a characteristic sensitivity to PCBs provides a potential safety factor when using mink toxicology data for cross‐species extrapolations. Effects of dietary exposure to Aroclor 1268 on reproduction, growth, and mortality in mink were compared to both a negative control and a positive control (3,3',4,4',5‐pentachlorobiphenyl: PCB 126). Aroclor 1268 dietary ΣPCB concentrations ranged from 1.8 to 29 µg/g feed ww. Whelp success was unaffected by Aroclor 1268 exposure at any level. Treatment mean litter size, kit growth, and kit survival were adversely affected relative to the negative control at dietary ΣPCB concentrations of 10.6 µg/g feed ww and greater. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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