Occurrence, spatiotemporal distribution, and risk assessment of current-use pesticides in surface water: A case study near Taihu Lake, China.

Research paper by Tielong T Wang, Mengmeng M Zhong, Meiling M Lu, Dongjiong D Xu, Yingang Y Xue, Jun J Huang, Lee L Blaney, Gang G Yu

Indexed on: 13 Apr '21Published on: 12 Apr '21Published in: Science of the Total Environment


This study involved the monitoring and risk assessment of current-use pesticides in surface water from the northwestern section of the Taihu Lake Basin (China) in 2019. In particular, 114 current-use pesticides were measured in samples collected during four campaigns spread across the wet, dry, and normal seasons. Pesticide concentrations were measured by means of a novel analytical method involving online solid-phase extraction coupled to LC-MS/MS. In total, 1 plant growth regulator, 34 herbicides, 23 insecticides, and 25 fungicides were detected. Detection frequencies greater than 90% were recorded for 26 pesticides; furthermore, acetamiprid, azoxystrobin, bentazone, carbendazim, isoprothiolane, metolachlor, paclobutrazol, and triadimenol were present in every sample. The measured pesticide concentrations varied widely, from below the detection limit to 10,600 ng/L (tricyclazole). The highest median concentrations for the fungicide, herbicide, and insecticide families were observed for carbendazim (135 ng/L), metolachlor (40 ng/L), and imidacloprid (31 ng/L), respectively. Twenty-two pesticides were quantitatively reported in Chinese surface water for the first time. The number and concentration of detected pesticides were significantly higher in June and September (wet season) compared to March and December (dry season). Agricultural areas of the study area were more contaminated than the residential and industrial sections. Imidacloprid was the only pesticide that exhibited high risk to sensitive ecological species (RQ > 1) in all four seasons. Isoproturon, isoprothiolane, and pretilachlor were identified as high risk in March (RQ = 4.5), September (1.3), and June (1.1), respectively; moreover, another eight pesticides posed a high ecological risk at specific sites. Seven pesticides recorded moderate risks (i.e., RQ = 0.1-1.0). Of the 18 pesticides with cases of high risk, a novel risk index, which accounted for frequency of PNEC exceedance, ranged from 6.7 (imidacloprid) to 7.1 × 10 (propiconazole). The integrated consideration of ecological risk and frequency of risk inform priorities for regional pesticide management and control. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.