The effects of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) exposure in spiked artificial soil on the survival and reproduction rate of the white potworm Enchytraeus albidus were studied. Based on the initial concentrations, TNT in freshly spiked soil decreased enchytraeid survival (21-day LC50=422+-63 (SD)mg/kg, N=3) and fecundity (42-day EC50=111+-34, N=4). Data also indicated that TNT was 5-10 times more lethal to juveniles than adults, and lethality was less pronounced in TNT-spiked soils aged for 21 days. A time-dependent decrease in the TNT concentrations, as well as a concomitant increase in the levels of 2- and 4-aminodinitrotoluene, was observed during the 42-day toxicity test. Taken together, TNT (or one of its metabolites) is more lethal to juvenile than adult enchytraeids. This effect may explain, at least in part, the ability of TNT to decrease fecundity as determined using the enchytraeid mortality-reproduction test. (c) Biosciences Information Services.