Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Toxicity: pentachlorophenol

Synonym(s): PCP, Penta, Dioxin

Contributor(s): Karyn Bischoff, Birgit Puschner

Introduction

  • Cause: exposure to wood treated with pentachlorophenol or water contaminated with pentachlorophenol; commercial pentachlorophenol contains impurities: tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, chlorinated dibenzofurans, others.
  • Signs: alopecia, colic, respiratory distress, wasting, laminitis.
  • Diagnosis: analysis of tissues or environmental samples.
  • Treatment: remove animals from the source of contamination.
  • Prognosis: poor.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Pentachlorophenol was used in treated lumber.
  • Pentachlorophenol has also been used as an algicide, bactericide, and fungicide.
  • Commercial pentachlorophenol contained impurities:
    • Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin.
    • Chlorinated dibenzofurans.
    • Others.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Pentachlorophenol was historically used to treat lumber.

Specific

  • Older buildings can still have wood containing pentachlorophenol.
  • Wood work produced from recycled treated lumber, telephone poles, or railroad ties should not be brought indoors.
  • Wood chips from old treated lumber should not be used as bedding.

Pathophysiology

  • Pentachlorophenol inhibits mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation.
  • Pentachlorophenol, dioxins, and related compounds bind to aryl hydrocarbon (Ah) receptors; Ah receptors are involved in gene expression.
  • Pentachlorophenol is a potent carcinogen.

Timecourse

  • Exposure to pentachlorophenol is chronic.

Epidemiology

  • Individual or multiple horses exposed to treated lumber can be affected:
    • Respiratory exposure.
    • Dermal exposure.
    • Per os exposure: cribbing, bedding.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Kerkvliet N I et al (1992) Dioxin intoxication from chronic exposure of horses to pentachlorophenol-contaminated wood shavings. JAVMA 201 (2), 296-302 PubMed.
  • Kinzell J H  et al (1981) Subchronic administration of technical pentachlorophenol to lactating dairy cattle: performance, general health, and pathologic changes. J Dairy Sci 64 (1), 42-51 PubMed.
  • McConnell E E et al (1980) The chronic toxicity of technical and analytical pentachlorophenol in cattle. I. Clinicopathology. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 52 (3), 468-490 PubMed.


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