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Accession Number 5004021

Title Effects of perchlorate on amphibian metamorphosis

Project Description Perchlorates are highly water soluble, widespread chemicals that may inhibit amphibian

metamorphosis by preventing assimilation of iodine and interfering with thyroid functioning.

Anthropogenic sources of perchlorates include explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics, cooling

lubricants, and batteries and are thus of interest to the military. Perchlorates are also found in

Chilean nitrate deposits mined from the Atacama Desert and used worldwide as a source of

nitrogen for fertilizers, explosives and other chemicals prior to World War I. Total recorded nitrate

production from these soils between 1830 and 1980 was estimated to be 145 million metric tons.

Calculations from historical and current production volumes indicate the potential for up to 3 billion

pounds (1.36 tetragrams) to be in the environment from just this one source. Perchlorate has

recently been found in ground and surface water of a number of western states and is remarkably

stable in groundwater. The current study will investigate the possible effects of environmentally

realistic concentrations of perchlorates on metamorphosis in a native amphibian species.

Keywords amphibians, endocrine disruption, metamorphosis, perchlorates,

Principal Gregory Harvey, Wright Patterson AFB: ;

Investigators

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