Toxicity of organic mixtures containing cyanogenic toxicants

Authors

  • Chung-Yuan Chen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 Ta Hsueh Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan 30050 Republic of China
    • Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 Ta Hsueh Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan 30050 Republic of China
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  • Chi-Feng Huang

    1. Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 Ta Hsueh Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan 30050 Republic of China
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Abstract

In this study we evaluated the joint actions of cyanogenic toxicants with other organic chemicals using Microtoxx® tests. Experimental results indicated that greater than additive effect seldom occurred when these chemicals were mixed with nonreactive toxicants. However, the likelihood of synergistic effects exceeded 30% when reacting with a reactive chemical. Among the cyanogenic toxicants investigated in this study, malononitrile, lactonitrile, and α-hydroxy-isobutyronitrile have an approx. 50% likelihood of acting via synergism mode with other reactive toxicants. On the other hand, the joint actions related to acetonitrile and allyl cyanide are either additive or less than additive. Moreover, the likelihood of encountering synergistic effects markedly increases if the slopes of the dose–response curves for the two chemicals tested are small. Therefore, slope and certain characteristics of a chemical structure can apparently be used as indices to assess the potential hazard for a specific organic mixture. Furthermore, the complex joint action exerts a certain deterministic influence over the joint action mode of cyanogenic toxicants. This type of joint action, which quite frequently leads to an obvious antagonistic or even detoxification phenomena, could have some useful toxicological and pharmacological applications. Lastly, estimating the mixture toxicity on the basis of the concentration addition model is not always appropriate considering the high percentage of cases in this study showing synergism.

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