Literature Review on Residues of Anticoagulant Rodenticides in Non-Target Animals

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Anticoagulant rodenticides are the principal means of controlling pest rodents in the Nordic countries. Due to the intrinsic properties of second generation anticoagulants, i.e. extremely slow elimination from the body and high toxicity, they are prone to accumulate in the non-target species which consume poisoned rodents. Despite wide use there are no published studies on occurrence of residues of anticoagulant rodenticides in the non-target animals in the Nordic countries. This review of publicly available studies was aimed to find out which anticoagulant substances are found and in which species. The concentrations are reported as well as the proportion of exposed animals. We have further compiled a list of species that could potentially be exposed to anticoagulant rodenticides in the Nordic countries. The review shows that anticoagulant residues have been found everywhere they have been measured and secondary exposure to second generation anticoagulants is common among certain avian and mammalian predators. The results call for initiation of measurements of anticoagulant rodenticides also in the Nordic countries.



Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides

First generation anticoagulants were introduced as rodenticides in the late 1940's. The appearance of resistance to warfarin and other first generation substances led to the development of more potent, second generation anticoagulants (IPCS Environmental Health Criteria 175, Anticoagulant Rodenticides). The first generation anticoagulants, e.g. warfarin, sodium warfarin, chlorophacinone and coumatetralyl, are effective first after several repeated ingestions. The newer, second generation anticoagulants bromadiolone, brodifacoum, difenacoum, difethialone and flocoumafen may cause an effect already after a single ingestion and are toxic at a much lower dose than the first generation anticoagulants (Berny 2007).


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