Bromide: A potential risk to livestock production in South Africa

Author: N.H. Casey, H.L. Lucht & B. Reijnders
Year: 2019
Issue: 6
Volume: 49
Page: 977 - 983

Bromide (Br-) concentrations (mg/L) in groundwater range from no observed adverse effect levels (NOAEL), which is considered safe, and increase to constituent of concern (COC) when the concentrations approach the recommended maximum levels for safety, and to potentially hazardous chemical constituent when the concentrations exceed the recommended safe levels. The default recommended NOAEL of less than or equal to 0.01 mg/L was validated with the highly sensitive chicken embryo model. Chronic and acute exposure to Br- in groundwater can induce negative consequences, which include hypothyroidism, reduced production and Br- accumulation in organs and secretion in milk, depending on the type of livestock and their physiological state, and potential interactions with environmental factors. Bromide competes with chloride (Cl-) and infiltrates the Cl- space, has a relatively long half-life in proportion to the ingestion rate, and a low renal clearance rate of approximately 5% of ingestion, leading to an accumulation in the body. The most vulnerable livestock are neonatal and suckling animals, those with a high water intake, such as during lactation, or in an adverse environment, and because of chronic exposure. The recommendation is to include Br- in chemical analysis of water quality and to assess the potential risk to livestock.

Keywords: animals, groundwater, halides, toxicity, Water quality
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