US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 18: 1069–1077, 2012


U.S. Government Work


Avian risk assessments for rodenticides are often driven by the results of standardized acute oral toxicity tests without regards to a toxicant’s mode of action and time course of adverse effects. First generation anticoagulant rodenticides (FGARs) generally require multiple feedings over several days to achieve a threshold concentration in tissue and cause adverse effects. This exposure regimen is much different than that used in the standardized acute oral toxicity test methodology. Median lethal dose values derived from standardized acute oral toxicity tests underestimate the environmental hazard and risk of FGARs. Caution is warranted when FGAR toxicity, physiological effects, and pharmacokinetics derived from standardized acute oral toxicity testing are used for forensic confirmation of the cause of death in avian mortality incidents and when characterizing FGARs’ risks to free-ranging birds.