Improving Risk Assessment by Predicting the Survival of Field Gammarids Exposed to Dynamic Pesticide Mixtures
- Journal Article
Exposure assessment of pesticides has substantially improved over time, with methods that now include a combination of advanced analytical techniques and fate/transport models to evaluate their spatiotemporal distribution. However, the current regulatory environmental risk assessment considers thresholds from laboratory studies completed under standardized conditions that do not reflect environmental dynamics. Using the General Unified Threshold model for Survival (GUTS) model framework, we predicted the impact of time-varying pesticide exposures on the survival of gammarids in a small agricultural stream. The LP50 values were used as an additional metric for assessing risks (defined in GUTS as a multiplication factor applied to the concentration time series to induce 50% mortality by the end of exposure). Although real-case exposures to individual pesticides were predicted to produce little to no impact on survival, the LP50 values indicate acute (LP50 ≤ 100) and/or chronic (LP50 ≤ 10) toxicities for azoxystrobin, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and imidacloprid, while risk to propiconazole exposure was considered very low (LP50 ≫ 100). Finally, the model was extended to reflect mixture toxicity via concentration addition. It predicted risks under acute and chronic exposures to organophosphates and neonicotinoids. Given that gammarids are simultaneously exposed to multiple chemicals and other stressors throughout their lifetime, a decline in survival probabilities due to chemical stress can likely influence their overall fitness. We recognize that some assumptions require validation, but our work included a level of realism that can assist risk managers when evaluating the cumulative consequences of chemical exposure. © 2020 American Chemical Society. Show more
Journal / seriesEnvironmental Science & Technology
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
608881 - ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship Program II (EC)
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