Environmental Risk of Pesticides for Fish in Small- and Medium-Sized Streams of Switzerland

Inge Werner, Anke Schneeweiss, Helmut Segner, Marion Junghans
2021 Toxics  
This study assessed the acute and chronic risk of pesticides, singly and as mixtures, for fish using comprehensive chemical data of four monitoring studies conducted in small- and medium-sized streams of Switzerland between 2012 and 2018. Pesticides were ranked based on single substance risk quotients and relative contribution to mixture risk. Concentrations of the pyrethroid insecticides, λ-cyhalothrin, cypermethrin and deltamethrin, and the fungicides, carbendazim and fenpropimorph, posed
more » ... e or chronic single substance risks. Risk quotients of eighteen additional pesticides were equal or greater than 0.1, and thirteen of those contributed ≥30% to mixture risk. Relatively few substances dominated the mixture risk in most water samples, with chronic and acute maximum cumulative ratios never exceeding 5 and 7, respectively. A literature review of toxicity data showed that concentrations of several pesticides detected in Swiss streams were sufficient to cause direct sublethal effects on fish in laboratory studies. Based on the results of our study, we conclude that pesticides detected in Swiss streams, especially pyrethroid insecticides, fungicides and pesticide mixtures, pose a risk to fish health and can cause direct sublethal effects at environmental concentrations. Sensitive life stages of species with highly specialized life history traits may be particularly vulnerable; however, the lack of toxicity data for non-model species currently prevents a conclusive assessment across species.
doi:10.3390/toxics9040079 pmid:33917877 fatcat:tv4lz6zxv5enpc6nrwslz3xjaq