Functional and pathological impairment of Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes) by long-term asbestos exposure
Review articleOpen access

AbstractChrysotile asbestos is a fibrous contaminant of water supplies in the United States, Canada and abroad. Evaluations of the effects of chrysotile were made on all life stages of the cyprinodontid fish, the Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes). These included: egg hatchability and survival; larval to juvenile growth, survival, histopathology and asbestos bioaccumulation; and adult reproduction and asbestos bioaccumulation. Asbestos did not substantially impair the egg stage at concentrations of less than 108 fibers/l. Larval and juvenile fish were the most sensitive stages with significant growth reductions occurring at 106–108 fibers/l and 100% mortality at 1010 fibers/l in 56 days of exposure. At 1010 fibers/l, direct evidence (transmission election microscopy of selected tissues) of chrysotile accumulation was present with concomitant epidermal lesions. A small percentage (5% of those originally exposed) of fish at 1010 fibers/l developed ventral non-invasive epidermal hyperplastic plaques. Reproduction tests resulted in 33% greater spawning frequency in control populations (compared to 104 and 108 fibers/l) and 25% more viable eggs. It is concluded that chrysotile may represent a significant environmental hazard, especially to young fish, and that asbestos should receive greater attention than it has historically received.

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