Journal Article

Toxicity of Sediment-Associated Pesticides to Chironomus dilutus and Hyalella azteca

Two hundred sediment samples were collected and their toxicity evaluated to aquatic species in a previous study in the agriculturally dominated Central Valley of California, United States. Pyrethroid insecticides were the main contributors to the observed toxicity. However, mortality in approximately one third of the toxic samples could not be explained solely by the presence of pyrethroids in the matrices. Hundreds of pesticides are currently used in the Central Valley of California, but only a few dozen are analyzed in standard environmental monitoring. A significant amount of unexplained sediment toxicity may be due to pesticides that are in widespread use that but have not been routinely monitored in the environment, and even if some of them were, the concentrations harmful to aquatic organisms are unknown. In this study, toxicity thresholds for nine sediment-associated pesticides including abamectin, diazinon, dicofol, fenpropathrin, indoxacarb, methyl parathion, oxyfluorfen, propargite, and pyraclostrobin were established for two aquatic species, the midge Chironomus dilutus and the amphipod Hyalella azteca. For midges, the median lethal concentration (LC50) of the pesticides ranged from 0.18 to 964 μg/g organic carbon (OC), with abamectin being the most toxic and propargite being the least toxic pesticide. A sublethal growth endpoint using average individual ash-free dry mass was also measured for the midges. The no–observable effect concentration values for growth ranged from 0.10 to 633 μg/g OC for the nine pesticides. For the amphipods, fenpropathrin was the most toxic, with an LC50 of 1–2 μg/g OC. Abamectin, diazinon, and methyl parathion were all moderately toxic (LC50s 2.8–26 μg/g OC). Dicofol, indoxacarb, oxyfluorfen, propargite, and pyraclostrobin were all relatively nontoxic, with LC50s greater than the highest concentrations tested. The toxicity information collected in the present study will be helpful in decreasing the frequency of unexplained sediment toxicity in agricultural waterways.

Publisher - Springer

Subjects - Insect, Non-biting midge, Chironomus dilutus; Crustacean, Amphipod, Hyalella azteca; Chemical, Abamectin; Chemical, Diazinon; Chemical, Dicofol; Chemical, Fenpropathrin; Chemical, Indoxcarb; Chemical, Methyl Parathion; Chemical, Oxyfluorfen; Chemical, Propargite; Chemical, Pyraclostrobin; Chemical, Pesticides

Citation: Ding Y, Weston DP, You J, Rothert AK, Lydy MJ. 2011. Toxicity of Sediment-Associated Pesticides to Chironomus dilutus and Hyalella azteca. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol.; 61(1):83-92