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Origins of behavioral teratology and distinctions between research on pharmaceutical agents and environmental/industrial chemicals.
Neurotoxicol Teratol 1990 Jul; 12(4):301-305
Behavioral teratology and its applications to research on the effects of exposure to pharmaceutical agents and industrial chemicals were discussed. Behavioral teratology was originally defined as the study of the development and behavior of offspring following prenatal administration of pharmaceutical agents. Half of all research in behavioral teratology has focused on the effects of ethanol (64175). Most of the nonethanol related research has focused on other pharmaceutical agents. The historical development of interest in the teratogenic effects of industrial and environmental chemicals was discussed. Studies on the effects of methylmercury (22967926) poisoning were mentioned. It was noted that despite the heavy emphasis and early research on methylmercury and other heavy metals, behavioral teratology research still emphasizes drugs. Out of 100,000 industrial chemicals in use only 30 have been investigated for their behavioral effects following prenatal exposure. Methodological issues in behavioral teratology were discussed. Differences between behavioral teratology studies on drugs and industrial chemicals were reviewed. There has usually been substantially more information available on the pharmacological properties, probable routes of exposure, and clinical procedures for determining blood concentrations of drugs than on industrial chemicals. Behavioral teratology studies of industrial chemicals must frequently develop their own methods for determining body burden. This can be a serious problem if inhalation is the major route of exposure. The need for further behavioral teratology testing was discussed. It was considered imperative that appropriate animal models be used to assess the behavioral effects of industrial teratogens, since experimental testing in humans is not possible.
NIOSH-Author; Behavioral-testing; Developmental-disorders; Teratogenesis; Pharmaceuticals; Organic-solvents; Alcohols; Organic-mercury
Issue of Publication
Neurotoxicology and Teratology
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