Insights into reptile dermal contaminant exposure: Reptile skin permeability to pesticides

Scott M. Weir, Larry G. Talent, Todd A. Anderson, Christopher J. Salice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


There is growing interest in improving ecological risk assessment exposure estimation, specifically by incorporating dermal exposure. At the same time, there is a growing interest in amphibians and reptiles as receptors in ecological risk assessment, despite generally receiving less research than more traditional receptors. Previous research has suggested that dermal exposure may be more important than previously considered for reptiles. We measured reptile skin permeability to four pesticides (thiamethoxam, malathion, tebuthiuron, trifluralin) using ventral skin samples. All four pesticides penetrated the skin but generally had low permeability. There was no apparent relationship between physicochemical properties and permeability coefficients. Malathion had a significantly greater permeability rate at all time points compared to the other pesticides. Tebuthiuron had a greater permeability than thiamethoxam. Reptiles and mammals appear to have similar skin permeability suggesting that dermal exposure estimates for mammals may be representative of reptiles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Herbicide
  • Insecticide
  • Lizard
  • Percutaneous absorption


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