Water research, 15 December 2019, Vol.167, pp.115090
The recent emergence of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (AR) in the aquatic environment emphasizes the relevance and impact of aquatic exposure pathways during rodent control. Pest control in municipal sewer systems of urban and suburban areas is thought to be an important emission pathway for AR to reach wastewater and municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), respectively. To circumstantiate that AR will enter streams via effluent discharges and bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms despite very low predicted environmental emissions, we conducted a retrospective biological monitoring of fish tissue samples from different WWTP fish monitoring ponds exclusively fed by municipal effluents in Bavaria, Germany. At the same time, information about rodent control in associated sewer systems was collected by telephone survey to assess relationships between sewer baiting and rodenticide residues in fish. In addition, mussel and fish tissue samples from several Bavarian surface waters with different effluent impact were analyzed to evaluate the prevalence of anticoagulants in indigenous aquatic organisms. Hepatic AR residues were detected at 12 out of 25 WWTP sampling sites in the low μg/kg range, thereof six sites with one or more second-generation AR (i.e., brodifacoum, difenacoum, bromadiolone). 14 of 18 surveyed sites confirmed sewer baiting with AR and detected hepatic residues matched the reported active ingredients used for sewer baiting at six sites. Furthermore, second-generation AR were detected in more than 80% of fish liver samples from investigated Bavarian streams. Highest total hepatic AR concentrations in these fish were 9.1 and 8.5 μg/kg wet weight, respectively and were observed at two riverine sampling sites characterized by close proximity to upstream WWTP outfalls. No anticoagulant residues were found in fish liver samples from two lakes without known influences of effluent discharges. The findings of our study clearly show incomplete removal of anticoagulants during conventional wastewater treatment and confirm exposure of aquatic organisms via municipal effluents. Based on the demonstrated temporal and spatial coherence between sewer baiting and hepatic AR residues in effluent-exposed fish, sewer baiting in combined sewer systems contributes to the release of active ingredients into the aquatic environment.
Bioaccumulation ; Biocides ; Monitoring ; Pbt-Substances ; Sewer Baiting ; Wastewater Treatment
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