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Reproductive toxins and alligator abnormalities at Lake Apopka, Florida.


The alligator population at Lake Apopka in central Florida declined dramatically between 1980 and 1987. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and specifically DDT metabolites have been implicated in the alligators' reproductive failure. The DDT metabolite hypothesis is based largely on the observation of elevated concentrations of p,p-DDE and p,p-DDD in alligator eggs obtained from Lake Apopka in 1984 and 1985. In the following commentary, we draw attention to two nematocides that are established reproductive toxins in humans, dibromochloropropane (DBCP) and ethylene dibromide (EDB), which could also have played a role in the reproductive failure observed in alligators from Lake Apopka in the early 1980s.

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