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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 05 May 2015, Vol.112(18), pp.5750-5
    Description: Compared with nutrient levels and habitat degradation, the importance of agricultural pesticides in surface water may have been underestimated due to a lack of comprehensive quantitative analysis. Increasing pesticide contamination results in decreasing regional aquatic biodiversity, i.e., macroinvertebrate family richness is reduced by ∼30% at pesticide concentrations equaling the legally accepted regulatory threshold levels (RTLs). This study provides a comprehensive metaanalysis of 838 peer-reviewed studies (〉2,500 sites in 73 countries) that evaluates, for the first time to our knowledge on a global scale, the exposure of surface waters to particularly toxic agricultural insecticides. We tested whether measured insecticide concentrations (MICs; i.e., quantified insecticide concentrations) exceed their RTLs and how risks depend on insecticide development over time and stringency of environmental regulation. Our analysis reveals that MICs occur rarely (i.e., an estimated 97.4% of analyses conducted found no MICs) and there is a complete lack of scientific monitoring data for ∼90% of global cropland. Most importantly, of the 11,300 MICs, 52.4% (5,915 cases; 68.5% of the sites) exceeded the RTL for either surface water (RTLSW) or sediments. Thus, the biological integrity of global water resources is at a substantial risk. RTLSW exceedances depend on the catchment size, sampling regime, and sampling date; are significantly higher for newer-generation insecticides (i.e., pyrethroids); and are high even in countries with stringent environmental regulations. These results suggest the need for worldwide improvements to current pesticide regulations and agricultural pesticide application practices and for intensified research efforts on the presence and effects of pesticides under real-world conditions.
    Keywords: Agriculture ; Biodiversity ; Global Surface Waters ; Insecticide Contamination ; Regulatory Risk Assessment ; Environmental Monitoring -- Methods ; Insecticides -- Analysis ; Water Pollutants, Chemical -- Analysis
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 2010, Vol.408(22), pp.5405-5413
    Description: The implementation of a geodata-based probabilistic pesticide exposure assessment for surface waters in Germany offers the opportunity to base the exposure estimation on more differentiated assumptions including detailed landscape characteristics. Since these characteristics can only be estimated using field surveys, water body width and depth, hydrology, riparian buffer strip width, ground vegetation cover, existence of concentrated flow paths, and riparian vegetation were characterised at 104 water body segments in the vineyard region Palatinate (south-west Germany). Water body segments classified as permanent (n = 43) had median values of water body width and depth of 0.9 m and 0.06 m, respectively, and the determined median width:depth ratio was 15. Thus, the deterministic water body model (width = 1 m; depth = 0.3 m) assumed in regulatory exposure assessment seems unsuitable for small water bodies in the study area. Only 25% of investigated buffer strips had a dense vegetation cover (〉 70%) and allow a laminar sheet flow as required to include them as an effective pesticide runoff reduction landscape characteristic. At 77 buffer strips, bordering field paths and erosion rills leading into the water body were present, concentrating pesticide runoff and consequently decreasing buffer strip efficiency. The vegetation type shrubbery (height 〉 1.5 m) was present at 57 (29%) investigated riparian buffer strips. According to their median optical vegetation density of 75%, shrubberies may provide a spray drift reduction of 72 ± 29%. Implementing detailed knowledge in an overall assessment revealed that exposure via drift might be 2.4 and via runoff up to 1.6 fold higher than assumed by the deterministic approach. Furthermore, considering vegetated buffer strips only by their width leads to an underestimation of exposure by a factor of as much as four. Our data highlight that the deterministic model assumptions neither represent worst-case nor median values and therefore cannot simply be adopted in a probabilistic approach.
    Keywords: Probabilistic Exposure Assessment ; Pesticide ; Exposure ; Riparian Buffer Strips ; Field Survey ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 2012, Vol.146(1), pp.81-92
    Description: ► We found fungicides frequently in-stream, also in community-relevant concentrations. ► Median copper concentrations in water and sediment were 5.4 μg l and 32.3 mg kg dw. ► Runoff transport via field paths reduced pesticide reduction capacity of buffers. ► In-stream pesticide spectrum was clearly attributed to entries via erosion rills. ► Vegetated field paths or wetlands are suggested to reduce entries via erosion rills. The present study was performed to characterise in-stream pesticide exposure within the Palatinate vineyard region in south-west Germany, evaluate the influence of buffer strip widths and identify mitigation measures for the relevant entry pathways. In-stream water and sediment samples that were taken at nine sampling sites of different buffer widths following intense rainfall, and edge-of-field runoff that were sampled in erosion rills were analysed regarding 28 active ingredients of pesticides including copper. In-stream samples contained a mix of 8 ± 4 pesticide compounds, resulting in total pesticide concentrations of 1.4–8.9 μg l for water and 16–670 μg kg dw for sediment. Following an exceptional rainfall event with a previous 34-day drought period, pesticide concentrations reached 7.0–83.4 μg l . Fungicides were the most important pesticides found and were significantly correlated with the pesticide application frequency and rate. The calculated toxicity values per sample (TU ) indicated that both organic pesticides and copper concentrations likely cause ecotoxicological effects in the field. The buffer strip width was of little importance for pesticide in-stream concentrations because pesticide entry occurred mainly via the field path network and erosion rills. Pesticide in-stream concentrations were significantly and positively correlated with the concentrations detected in erosion rills ( = 0.56). As possible risk mitigation measures, we suggest the implementation of grassed field paths and vegetated ditches or wetlands.
    Keywords: Fungicide ; Copper ; Buffer Strips ; Surface Water ; Monitoring ; Exposure ; Agriculture ; Environmental Sciences
    ISSN: 0167-8809
    E-ISSN: 1873-2305
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 15 October 2018, Vol.639, pp.516-525
    Description: The decades-long agricultural use of insecticides resulted in frequent contamination of surface waters globally regularly posing high risks for the aquatic biodiversity. However, the concentration levels of individual insecticide compounds have by now not been compiled and reported using global scale data, hampering our knowledge on the insecticide exposure of aquatic ecosystems. Here, we specify measured insecticide concentrations (MICs, comprising in total 11,300 water and sediment concentrations taken from a previous publication) for 28 important insecticide compounds covering four major insecticide classes. Results show that organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides, which dominated the global insecticide market for decades, have been detected most often and at highest concentration levels in surface waters globally. In comparison, MICs of the more recent pyrethroids and neonicotinoids were less often reported and generally at lower concentrations as a result of their later market introduction and lower application rates. An online insecticide classification calculator (ICC; available at: ) is provided in order to enable the comparison and classification of prospective MICs with available global insecticide concentrations. Spatial analyses of existing data show that most MICs were reported for surface waters in North America, Asia and Europe, whereas highest concentration levels were detected in Africa, Asia and South America. An evaluation of water and sediment MICs showed that theoretical organic carbon-water partition coefficients (K ) determined in the laboratory overestimated K values based on actual field concentrations by up to a factor of more than 20, with highest deviations found for highly sorptive pyrethroids. Overall, the comprehensive compilation of insecticide field concentrations presented here is a valuable tool for the classification of future surface water monitoring results and serves as important input data for more field relevant toxicity testing approaches and pesticide exposure and risk assessment schemes.
    Keywords: Pesticides ; Surface Water Exposure ; Monitoring ; Global Survey ; Koc ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 01 March 2016, Vol.545-546, pp.171-183
    Description: Regulatory risk assessment considers vegetated buffer strips as effective risk mitigation measures for the reduction of runoff-related pesticide exposure of surface waters. However, apart from buffer strip widths, further characteristics such as vegetation density or the presence of erosion rills are generally neglected in the determination of buffer strip mitigation efficacies. This study conducted a field survey of fruit orchards (average slope 3.1–12.2%) of the Lourens River catchment, South Africa, which specifically focused on the characteristics and attributes of buffer strips separating orchard areas from tributary streams. In addition, in-stream and erosion rill water samples were collected during three runoff events and GIS-based modeling was employed to predict losses of pesticides associated with runoff. The results show that erosion rills are common in buffer strips (on average 13 to 24 m wide) of the tributaries (up to 6.5 erosion rills per km flow length) and that erosion rills represent concentrated entry pathways of pesticide runoff into the tributaries during rainfall events. Exposure modeling shows that measured pesticide surface water concentrations correlated significantly (R = 0.626; p 〈 0.001) with runoff losses predicted by the modeling approach in which buffer strip width was set to zero at sites with erosion rills; in contrast, no relationship between predicted runoff losses and in-stream pesticide concentrations were detected in the modeling approach that neglected erosion rills and thus assumed efficient buffer strips. Overall, the results of our study show that erosion rills may substantially reduce buffer strip pesticide retention efficacies during runoff events and suggest that the capability of buffer strips as a risk mitigation tool for runoff is largely overestimated in current regulatory risk assessment procedures conducted for pesticide authorization.
    Keywords: Risk Assessment ; Runoff ; Monitoring ; Exposure Modeling ; Field Survey ; South Africa ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 10 December 2018, Vol.644, pp.342-349
    Description: The environmental risk assessment of pesticides is mainly performed on individual active ingredients. In surface waters within the agricultural landscape, however, contamination is usually characterized by complex pesticide mixtures. To estimate the joint effects caused by these complex mixtures, mathematical models have been proposed. Among these, the model of concentration addition (CA) is suggested as default model for the risk assessment of chemical mixtures as it is considered protective for mixtures composed of similar and dissimilar acting substances. Here we assessed the suitability of CA predictions for seven field relevant pesticide mixtures using acute (immobility) and chronic (reproduction) responses of the standard test species . Pesticide mixtures indicated largely additive or less than additive effects when using CA model predictions as a reference. Moreover, we revealed that deviations from CA predictions are lower for chronic (up to 3.2-fold) relative to acute (up to 7.2-fold) response variables. Additionally, CA predictions were in general more accurate for complex mixtures relative to those composed of only a few pesticides. Thus, this study suggests CA models as largely protective for the risk assessment of pesticide mixtures justifying its use as default model. At the same time, extrapolating conclusions about the joint effects of pesticides from acute to chronic responses is uncertain, due to partly large discrepancies with regards to the deviation of model prediction and observed effects between exposure scenarios.
    Keywords: Mixture Toxicity ; Pesticide ; Mode of Toxic Action ; Concentration Addition ; Daphnia ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 7
    In: Journal of Applied Ecology, April 2015, Vol.52(2), pp.310-322
    Description: The application of fungicides is considered an indispensable measure to secure crop production. These substances, however, may unintentionally enter surface waters via run‐off, potentially affecting the microbial community. To assess such risks adequately, authorities recently called for suitable test designs involving relevant aquatic micro‐organisms. We assessed the structural and functional responses of leaf‐associated microbial communities, which play a key role in the breakdown of allochthonous leaf material in streams, towards the inorganic fungicides copper (Cu) and elemental sulphur (S). These substances are of particular interest as they are authorized for both conventional and organic farming in many countries of the world. We used the food choice of the amphipod shredder Gammarus fossarum (indicative for micro‐organism‐mediated leaf palatability) as well as microbial leaf decomposition as functional endpoints. Moreover, the leaf‐associated microbial communities were characterized by means of bacterial density, fungal biomass and community composition facilitating mechanistic understanding of the observed functional effects. While Gammarus preferred Cu‐exposed leaves over unexposed ones, microbial leaf decomposition was reduced by both Cu and S (up to 30%). Furthermore, Cu exposure decreased bacterial densities (up to 60%), stimulated the growth of leaf‐associated fungi (up to 100%) and altered fungal community composition, while S did not affect any of the assessed structural endpoints. Synthesis and applications. We observed both structural and functional changes in leaf‐associated microbial communities at inorganic fungicide concentrations realistic for surface water bodies influenced by conventional and organic farming. Our data hence justify a careful re‐evaluation of the environmental safety of the agricultural use of these compounds. Moreover, inclusion of an experimental design similar to the one used in this study in lower tier environmental risk assessments of antimicrobial compounds may aid to safeguard the integrity of aquatic microbial communities and the functions they provide. We observed both structural and functional changes in leaf‐associated microbial communities at inorganic fungicide concentrations realistic for surface water bodies influenced by conventional and organic farming. Our data hence justify a careful re‐evaluation of the environmental safety of the agricultural use of these compounds. Moreover, inclusion of an experimental design similar to the one used in this study in lower tier environmental risk assessments of antimicrobial compounds may aid to safeguard the integrity of aquatic microbial communities and the functions they provide.
    Keywords: Antagonistic Effect ; Antimicrobial ; Aquatic Hyphomycetes ; Bacteria ; Biofilm ; Ecosystem Functioning ; Environmental Risk Assessment ; Heavy Metal ; Leaf Litter Breakdown ; Mixture Toxicity
    ISSN: 0021-8901
    E-ISSN: 1365-2664
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Water Research, June 2001, Vol.35(8), pp.1869-1876
    Description: Rainfall-induced runoff transported sediments and pesticides into the Lourens River and its tributaries during a 28.8-mm rainstorm in mid-December 1998. Average 1-h peak levels of current-use insecticides applied to adjacent orchard plots were 1.5 mu g l super(-1) azinphos-methyl, 0.2 mu g l super(-1) chlorpyrifos and 2.9 mu g l super(-1) total endosulfan ( alpha , beta , S) in the river itself. Respective average 1-h pesticide levels associated with suspended particles were 1247, 924 and 12082 mu g kg super(-1), along with 980 mu g kg super(-1) of prothiofos. Total suspended solids increased during runoff from 32 to 520 mg l super(-1). The contaminated edge-of-field runoff entered the river via the tributaries directly bordering the orchard-growing areas. Increased concentrations of azinphos-methyl and prothiofos associated with suspended sediments were demonstrated to persist for about 3.5 months without any further input in one of the tributaries. This illustrates that the short-term exposure has the potential to result in long-term contamination of surface waters. In terms of chemical load during the 1-h peak discharge period, the single rainfall event caused a loss of 173 g h super(-1) azinphosmethyl, 55 g h super(-1) chlorpyrifos, 740 g h super(-1) total endosulfan ( alpha , beta , S) and 41 g h super(-1) prothiofos. Levels of contamination were extremely high; they exceed the national water quality standards and those established by the US EPA. A comparison with standard toxicity data and 24-h LC sub(50)s for the local amphipod species Paramelita nigroculus, obtained during this study, indicates that the concentrations found in the river may result in acute toxic effects on aquatic invertebrates and fishes. A probability analysis of 10-y rainfall data revealed that the frequency of a similar storm event occurring within the main spraying season is 1.7 y super(-1).
    Keywords: Edge-of-Field Runoff ; Insecticides ; Nonpoint-Source Pollution ; Orchards ; Toxicity ; Engineering
    ISSN: 0043-1354
    E-ISSN: 1879-2448
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2015, Vol.22(24), pp.19632-19647
    Description: Pesticides constitute an integral part of high-intensity European agriculture. Prior to their authorization, a highly elaborated environmental risk assessment is mandatory according to EU pesticide legislation, i.e., Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009. However, no field data-based evaluation of the risk assessment outcome, i.e., the regulatory acceptable concentrations (RACs), and therefore of the overall protectiveness of EU pesticide regulations exists. We conducted here a comprehensive meta-analysis using peer-reviewed literature on agricultural insecticide concentrations in EU surface waters and evaluated associated risks using the RACs derived from official European pesticide registration documents. As a result, 44.7 % of the 1566 cases of measured insecticide concentrations (MICs) in EU surface waters exceeded their respective RACs. It follows that current EU pesticide regulations do not protect the aquatic environment and that insecticides threaten aquatic biodiversity. RAC exceedances were significantly higher for insecticides authorized using conservative tier-I RACs and for more recently developed insecticide classes, i.e., pyrethroids. In addition, we identified higher risks, e.g., for smaller surface waters that are specifically considered in the regulatory risk assessment schemes. We illustrate the shortcomings of the EU regulatory risk assessment using two case studies that contextualize the respective risk assessment outcomes to field exposure. Overall, our meta-analysis challenges the field relevance and protectiveness of the regulatory environmental risk assessment conducted for pesticide authorization in the EU and indicates that critical revisions of related pesticide regulations and effective mitigation measures are urgently needed to substantially reduce the environmental risks arising from agricultural insecticide use.
    Keywords: Pesticide ; Surface water ; Europe ; Risk assessment ; Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 ; Regulatory acceptable concentration ; Meta-analysis
    ISSN: 0944-1344
    E-ISSN: 1614-7499
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, June, 2013, Vol.32(6), p.1254(10)
    Description: Byline: Renja Bereswill, Martin Streloke, Ralf Schulz Abstract The European Union's directive for sustainable use of pesticides requires implementing risk mitigation measures at streams threatened by pesticide entries. The need for mitigation measures was investigated at 10 stream sites within an intensively used arable region in central Germany by characterizing pesticide exposure following edge-of-field runoff and effects on the aquatic macroinvertebrates. Moreover, the influence of riparian buffer strip width (as a mitigation measure) at the sampling sites was considered. Generally, invertebrate fauna was dominated by pesticide-tolerant species, suggesting a high pesticide exposure at almost all sites. This result is also reflected by the elevated levels of suspended particle contamination in terms of toxic units (logTU.sub.Max〉-2), corresponding to one-hundredth of the median lethal concentration (LC50) to Daphnia magna. At two sites that received high aqueous-phase entries of the pyrethroid lambda-cyhalothrin (logTU.sub.Max〉-0.6), the abundance and number of sensitive species in terms of the species at risk index decreased during the pesticide application period. In contrast, no acute significant negative effects on macroinvertebrates were observed at sites characterised by low water-phase toxicity (logTU.sub.Max〈-3.5). An influence of riparian buffer strip width on pesticide exposure was not observed, supposedly because of the presence of erosion rills and ephemeral ditches. In conclusion, results show that mitigation measures (such as the improvement of currently present riparian buffer strips) are needed in the study area. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:1254-1263. A[c] 2013 SETAC Supporting information: Additional Supporting Information may be found in the online version of this article All Supplemental Data may be found in the online version of this article.
    Keywords: Pesticides -- Usage ; Runoff ; Endangered Species
    ISSN: 0730-7268
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