Including mixtures in the determination of water quality criteria for herbicides in surface water

Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Duebendorf, Switzerland.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 02/2006; 40(2):426-35. DOI: 10.1021/es050239l
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Monitoring programs throughout America and Europe have demonstrated the common occurrence of herbicides in surface water. Nevertheless, mixtures are rarely taken into account in water quality regulation. Taking mixtures into account is only feasible if the water quality criteria (WQC) of the single compounds are derived by a common and consistent methodology, which overcomes differences in data quality without settling on the lowest common denominator but making best use of all available data. In this paper, we present a method of defining a risk quotient for mixtures of herbicides with a similar mode of action (RQm). Consistent and comparable WQC are defined for single herbicides as a basis for the calculation of the RQm. Derived from the concentration addition model, the RQm can be expressed as the sum of the ratios of the measured environmental concentration and the WQC for each herbicide. The RQm should be less than one to ensure an acceptable risk to aquatic life. This approach has the advantage of being easy to calculate and communicate, and is proposed as a replacement for the current limit of 0.1 microg/L for herbicides in Switzerland. We illustrate the proposed approach on the example of five commonly applied herbicides (atrazine, simazine, terbuthylazine, isoproturon, and diuron). Their risk profile, i.e., the RQm as a function of time for one exemplary river, clearly shows that the single compounds rarely exceeded their individual WQC. However, the contribution of peaks of different seasonally applied herbicides, whose application periods partially overlap, together with the continuously emitted herbicides from nonagricultural use, results in the exceedance of the RQm threshold value of one upon several occasions.

Download full-text


Available from: Kathrin Fenner, Jul 30, 2015
  • Source
    • "EC) obtained for a single substance or a mixture from bioassays with different species. They are mainly used as predictive models for risk assessment purposes, with a view to extrapolate a threshold that will protect most of the environmental species (Chèvre et al., 2006). This protective threshold is known as the Hazardous Concentration (HC), and is usually defined as that which affects 5% of the species (HC 5 ). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Benthic diatoms evolved in a biofilm structure, at the interface between water and substrata. Biofilms can adsorb toxicants, such as herbicides, but little is known about the exposure of biofilm organisms, such as benthic diatoms, to these adsorbed herbicides. We assessed the sensitivity of 11 benthic diatoms species to 6 herbicides under both planktonic and benthic conditions using single-species bioassays. The concentration that reduced the growth rate of the population by 10% (EC10) and 50% (EC50), respectively, varied depending on the species, the herbicides, and the growth forms involved. As a general trend, the more hydrophobic the herbicide, the more species were found to be sensitive under benthic growth conditions. Statistical differences (alpha<5%) were observed between the sensitivities under planktonic and benthic growth conditions for many hydrophobic herbicides. A protective effect of the biofilm against herbicides was observed, and this tended to decrease (at both the EC10 and EC50 levels) with increasing hydrophobicity. The biofilm matrix appeared to control exposure to herbicides, and consequently their toxicity towards benthic diatoms. For metolachlor, terbutryn and irgarol, benthic thresholds derived from species sensitivity distributions were more protective than planktonic thresholds. For hydrophobic herbicides, deriving sensitivity thresholds from data obtained under benthic growth seems to offer a promising alternative.
    Science of The Total Environment 07/2013; 463-464C:469-477. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.06.063 · 4.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The concentrationeeffects curve for a 40-component mixture was compared with predictions for CA and IA in Fig. 3A and all other results are in the Supplementary Information, Fig. SI-4. The CA and IA models gave very similar predictions (Table 2 and Supplementary Information, Fig. 3A and SI-4), which is not unusual for mixtures with a large number of components (Backhaus et al., 2000; Dyer et al., 2000; Chevre et al., 2006; Junghans et al., 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study we propose for the first time an approach for the tentative derivation of effect-based water quality trigger values for an apical endpoint, the cytotoxicity measured by the bioluminescence inhibition in Vibrio fischeri. The trigger values were derived for the Australian Drinking Water Guideline and the Australian Guideline for Water Recycling as examples, but the algorithm can be adapted to any other set of guideline values. In the first step, a Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) describing the 50% effect concentrations, EC50, was established using chemicals known to act according to the nonspecific mode of action of baseline toxicity. This QSAR described the effect of most of the chemicals in these guidelines satisfactorily, with the exception of antibiotics, which were more potent than predicted by the baseline toxicity QSAR. The mixture effect of 10-56 guideline chemicals mixed at various fixed concentration ratios (equipotent mixture ratios and ratios of the guideline values) was adequately described by concentration addition model of mixture toxicity. Ten water samples were then analysed and 5-64 regulated chemicals were detected (from a target list of over 200 chemicals). These detected chemicals were mixed in the ratios of concentrations detected and their mixture effect was predicted by concentration addition. Comparing the effect of these designed mixtures with the effect of the water samples, it became evident that less than 1% of effect could be explained by known chemicals, making it imperative to derive effect-based trigger values. The effect-based water quality trigger value, EBT-EC50, was calculated from the mixture effect concentration predicted for concentration-additive mixture effects of all chemicals in a given guideline divided by the sum of the guideline concentrations for individual components, and dividing by an extrapolation factor that accounts for the number of chemicals contained in the guidelines and for model uncertainties. While this concept was established using the example of Australian recycled water, it can be easily adapted to any other set of water quality guidelines for organic micropollutants. The cytotoxicity based trigger value cannot be used in isolation, it must be applied in conjunction with effect-based trigger values targeting critical specific modes of action such as estrogenicity or photosynthesis inhibition.
    Water Research 03/2013; 47(10). DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2013.03.011 · 5.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "), and isoproturon (0.2 vs. 0.3 μg/L for this study and Chèvre et al. 2006, respectively). AA-EQS and MAC-EQS for priority substances and Irgarol 1051 are lower than our estimates of EC 50 -based and NOEC-based HC5-95 %, suggesting that these criteria are more protective for aquatic primary producers. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A 2-year study was implemented to characterize the contamination of estuarine continuums in the Bay of Vilaine area (NW Atlantic Coast, Southern Brittany, France) by 30 pesticide and biocide active substances and metabolites. Among these, 11 triazines (ametryn, atrazine, desethylatrazine, desethylterbuthylazine, desisopropyl atrazine, Irgarol 1051, prometryn, propazine, simazine, terbuthylazine, and terbutryn), 10 phenylureas (chlortoluron, diuron, 1-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-3-methylurea, fenuron, isoproturon, 1-(4-isopropylphenyl)-3-methylurea, 1-(4-isopropylphenyl)-urea, linuron, metoxuron, and monuron), and 4 chloroacetanilides (acetochlor, alachlor, metolachlor, and metazachlor) were detected at least once. The objectives were to assess the corresponding risk for aquatic primary producers and to provide exposure information for connected studies on the responses of biological parameters in invertebrate sentinel species. The risk associated with contaminants was assessed using risk quotients based on the comparison of measured concentrations with original species sensitivity distribution-derived hazardous concentration values. For EU Water Framework Directive priority substances, results of monitoring were also compared with regulatory Environmental Quality Standards. The highest residue concentrations and risks for primary producers were recorded for diuron and Irgarol 1051 in Arzal reservoir, close to a marina. Diuron was present during almost the all survey periods, whereas Irgarol 1051 exhibited a clear seasonal pattern, with highest concentrations recorded in June and July. These results suggest that the use of antifouling biocides is responsible for a major part of the contamination of the lower part of the Vilaine River course for Irgarol 1051. For diuron, agricultural sources may also be involved. The presence of isoproturon and chloroacetanilide herbicides on some dates indicated a significant contribution of the use of plant protection products in agriculture to the contamination of Vilaine River. Concentration levels and associated risk were always lower in estuarine sites than in the reservoir, suggesting that Arzal dam reduces downstream transfer of contaminants and favors their degradation in the freshwater part of the estuary. Results of the additional monitoring of two tidal streams located downstream of Arzal dam suggested that, although some compounds may be transferred to the estuary, their impact was probably very low. Dilution by marine water associated with tidal current was also a major factor of concentration reduction. It is concluded that the highest risks associated to herbicides and booster biocides concerned the freshwater part of the estuary and that its brackish/saltwater part was exposed to a moderate risk, although some substances may sometimes exhibit high concentration but mainly at low tide and on an irregular basis.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 09/2012; 20(2). DOI:10.1007/s11356-012-1171-y · 2.76 Impact Factor
Show more