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Gwynne Lyons Toxics Science and Policy Advisor WWF UK. Congenital Defects The wildlife/human connection AREHNA seminar - Kos, June 2005. Overview of Talk. Two examples of wildlife warnings. Congenital defects in 4 classes of vertebrate animals: fish; amphibians; reptiles; mammals.

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gwynne lyons toxics science and policy advisor wwf uk

Gwynne LyonsToxics Science and Policy Advisor WWF UK

Congenital Defects

The wildlife/human connection

AREHNA seminar - Kos, June 2005

overview of talk
Overview of Talk
  • Two examples of wildlife warnings.
  • Congenital defects in 4 classes of vertebrate animals: fish; amphibians; reptiles; mammals.
  • Wildlife warnings for the future
example 1 abortion in sea lions
Example 1 Abortion in Sea Lions
  • 20 % Sea Lions had aborted pups on an island off California
  • DDE responsible for 15%? Of premature baby deaths in USA(Longnecker et al. 2001)
  • Higher DDT in Chinese workers who suffer abortion(Korrick et al. 2001)
ddt in lab animals
DDT in lab animals
  • DDT has an anti-androgenic action in rodents. AGD > hypospadias > undescended testes(Kelce et al. 1995; Earl Gray et al. 2001)
  • Highlights fetal tissue concs of 10-20 ppm DDE = similar to humans in late 1960s
  • Shows DDT / DDE cause cryptorchidism and CIS in rabbits
south africa babies
South Africa - babies
  • DDT used in homes for malarial control
  • Prof Bornman et al(unpublished –work in progress)
  • DDT linked to testicular abnormalities in baby boys
example 2 thyroid effects in great lakes wildlife
Example 2Thyroid effects in Great Lakes wildlife
  • In Great Lakes all adult male salmon showed thyroid disruption. Enlarged thyroids – goitre - some ruptured. Effects on thyroid still evident
  • 2001-2004 gulls still have goitre – produce less thyroid hormones.
  • Turtles in Great Lakes reduced thyroid function.
other species showing altered thyroid function
Babies in 1990 Dutch cohort – thyroid hormone levels correlate with pollutants

The higher dioxin, furan and PCB in milk, the lower maternal total T3 and T4 . Infants have higher plasma-levels of TSH

Alligators in polluted Florida lakes – reduced thyroxine levels.

Florida panther thyroid dysfunction

Polar bears – thyroid hormone levels altered - PCBs

Other species showing altered thyroid function
thyroid effects in humans
Thyroid effects in humans
  • Goitre in Michigan residents
  • PCBs - developmental neurotoxicity = thyroid disruption?
  • In Japan – tripling of the incidence of cretinism 1981-9995 defective thyroid function in foetal life cause dioxin? – other chemicals linked to ED of T
congenital defects in vertebrate wildlife fish
Congenital defects in Vertebrate wildlife - fish
  • Intersex fish – up to 100% of roach in some UK freshwater rivers. VTG.Now found elsewhere in EU.
  • Intersex found in UK marine fish – such as flounder – but less severe.Now found in Seine, Baltic flounder, and severe in swordfish from the Mediterranean
  • MIPs morphologically intermediate papilla syndrome – Sand Gobies.
congenital defects in vertebrates amphibians
Congenital defects in Vertebrates: Amphibians
  • Gonadal dysgenesis and hermaphrodite leopard frogs - atrazine sites USA (Hayes et al. 2003)
  • Intersex in cricket frogs – pop decline - peaked in OC time? (Reeder 2005)
  • Cane Toads – 30% hermaphrodite – atrazine on sugar cane in Florida(Gross)
  • Limb deformities
congenital defects in reptiles
Congenital defects in Reptiles
  • Smaller phallus in alligators.
  • Abnormalities of the testes in alligators
  • Smaller precloacal length (= penis) in snapping turtles - Detroit river
  • Abnormal testes – ovo-testes in red belly turtle in Florida
congenital defects in mammals mustelids
Congenital defects in Mammals: Mustelids
  • Impaired reproduction in otters in EU, and in Great Lakes.
  • Otters in Lower Columbia river had shorter baculums and smaller testes.
  • Eye defects linked with lower vit A
  • Endangered European mink in decline
  • Mink in British Columbia shorter baculum correlating to PCBs
congenital defects in polar bears and panthers
Congenital defects in Polar Bears and Panthers
  • Suspected higher rates of female hermaphroditism in polluted Svalbaard.
  • Many of remaining small population of Florida panthers have undescended testes
congenital defects in black and brown bears
Congenital defects in Black and Brown Bears
  • Retained testes in 11 of 71 black bears in Florida(4 old enough to be considered cryptorchid)(Dunbar 1996)
  • In Alberta Canada – 1988 – reported cases of masculinised females
congenital defects in mule deer and white tailed deer
Congenital defects in Mule Deer and White Tailed Deer
  • Abnormal testes and abnormal antlers in 27 of 116 adult male Mule deer around site on Columbia river USA (Tiller et al.1997)
  • Of 254 white tailed deer from Montana – 67% showed genital developmental abnormalities. (1996-2000) Mis-positioned genitals, undersized scrota, and un-descended testes(Hoy et al. 2002)
congenital defects in male sitka black tail deer in alaska
Congenital defects in male Sitka Black Tail Deer in Alaska

Aliluik peninsula on Kodiak Island

  • 61 out of 94 were bilateral cryptorchid
  • 43 out of 94 had abnormal antlers
  • At least 2 of the 10 scrotal testes examined contained CIS cellsprecursors of seminoma (Veeramanchaneni et al. 2005)
congenital defects in eland in south africa
Congenital defects in Eland in South Africa
  • Focal white gritty areas found in testes of all 11 eland.
  • Vacuolisation of sertoli cells
  • Impaired spermatogenesis
  • Testicular lesions associated with high NP?
  • First evidence of wildlife affected by EDCs in South Africa
warning for male homo sapiens
Warning for male Homo Sapiens
  • Testicular dysgenesis now seen in many aquatic and terrestrial species.
  • Additive effects known to occur in vivo with anti-androgenic substances(Foster et al. 2000)(Gray et al. 2001)(Silva et al. 2002)
  • Swan 2005 – shows AGD and other effects linked to phthalate metabolites in mothers.
  • Baby boys – half the men their fathers are?
warning immune suppression in wildlife is widespread
Warning: Immune suppression in wildlife is widespread
  • Birds in Gt Lakes - Herring Gulls, Black-crowned Herons, Caspian Terns in (2001) Great Lakes.
  • Snapping Turtles in (2001) in Gt Lakes
  • Loggerhead Turtles (2000/01) from North Carolina
  • Seals (and controlled feeding of seals with fish from polluted Waddon sea depressed immune system
warning immune suppression in wildlife is widespread cont
Warning: Immune suppression in wildlife is widespread ..cont…
  • High rates of cancer in St Lawrence belugas.
  • Mice fed with fat replaced with beluga fat – show immune suppression
  • Immune suppression very evident in Svalbaard polar bears
  • Immune suppression found in Florida panther
implications for humans
Implications for humans?
  • Discuss – Rice oil - Inuit babies – Dutch cohort. DES children. > old age – autoimmune disease – arthritis.
  • Need to identify chemicals with immunotoxicant and/or ED action
  • Need tighter controls on EDCs
  • Need to bring EDCs under prior authorisation under REACH. Help!