There are very few studies on the reactions of amphibians to PAHs. One study concluded that amphibians were more resistant to PAH-induced carcinogenesis compared to mammals. Phototoxicity may be an important effect for amphibians, especially larval forms, because they can be exposed to high concentrations of PAHs and live in shallow pools. One research study exposed the larvae of three species (two frogs and one salamander) to fluoranthene and then subjected them to UV light. This study found a greater sensitivity to fluoranthene in the presence of natural UV light (outdoors). For two of the species, the time to death was reduced by approximately 20-fold (Ambystoma maculatum) and 70-fold (Xenopus laevis) over that observed for the same PAH exposure without UV radiation. These are striking differences that are supported by other work demonstrating a dose-response relationship between the median time to death and exposure (=UVA intensity times tissue concentration) in larval Rana pipiens.
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