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Effects of Chronic Dieldrin Ingestion on the Muscular Efficiency of Rats
  1. Mélék Khaïry
  1. Medical Research Council's Group for the Experimental Investigation of Behaviour, Psychology Department, University College, London


    Several cases of dieldrin poisoning were reported amongst sprayers following repeated exposure to this insecticide. The symptoms developed by some of the most severe cases of poisoning included epileptiform convulsions.

    The effect of dieldrin on muscular efficiency of rats was studied. A state of chronic toxicity was produced by maintaining two groups of rats on a diet containing 25 p.p.m. and 50 p.p.m. of dieldrin respectively. A third group receiving a diet containing no dieldrin acted as a control. Muscular efficiency was measured by training the rats to pull weights of increasing magnitude in a 250 cm. runway. The time taken to pull the weights through the standard distance was recorded.

    Dieldrin appeared to have no effect on body weight, food intake, or learning, but muscular efficiency (as measured here) seemed to be affected by this compound. A progressive deterioration in muscular efficiency was observed, and was related to the amount of dieldrin administered. Although the nature of the deterioration cannot be deduced from this study, the results obtained here suggest possible lines of investigating the early effects on human beings of exposure to dieldrin.

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