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Reproductive toxicity of a mixture of regulated drinking-water disinfection by-products in a multigenerational rat bioassay

, : Reproductive toxicity of a mixture of regulated drinking-water disinfection by-products in a multigenerational rat bioassay. Environmental Health Perspectives 123(6): 564-570

Trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) are regulated disinfection by-products (DBPs); their joint reproductive toxicity in drinking water is unknown. We aimed to evaluate a drinking water mixture of the four regulated THMs and five regulated HAAs in a multigenerational reproductive toxicity bioassay. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed (parental, F1, and F2 generations) from gestation day 0 of the parental generation to postnatal day (PND) 6 of the F2 generation to a realistically proportioned mixture of THMs and HAAs at 0, 500×, 1,000×, or 2,000× of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). Maternal water consumption was reduced at ≥ 1,000×; body weights were reduced at 2,000×. Prenatal and postnatal survival were unaffected. F1 pup weights were unaffected at birth but reduced at 2,000× on PND6 and at ≥ 1,000× on PND21. Postweaning F1 body weights were reduced at 2,000×, and water consumption was reduced at ≥ 500×. Males at 2,000× had a small but significantly increased incidence of retained nipples and compromised sperm motility. Onset of puberty was delayed at 1,000× and 2,000×. F1 estrous cycles and fertility were unaffected, and F2 litters showed no effects on pup weight or survival. Histologically, P0 (parental) dams had nephropathy and adrenal cortical pathology at 2,000×. A mixture of regulated DBPs at up to 2,000× the MCLs had no adverse effects on fertility, pregnancy maintenance, prenatal survival, postnatal survival, or birth weights. Delayed puberty at ≥ 1,000× may have been secondary to reduced water consumption. Male nipple retention and compromised sperm motility at 2,000× may have been secondary to reduced body weights.


PMID: 25695961

DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1408579

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