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Environmental monitoring and risk assessment of pesticide residues in surface waters of the Louros River (N.W. Greece)

Kapsi, Margarita, Tsoutsi, Charoula, Paschalidou, Anastasia, Albanis, Triantafyllos
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.650 pp. 2188-2198
acetochlor, algae, alpha-endosulfan, aquatic environment, azinphos-ethyl, environmental monitoring, estuaries, fish, fungicides, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, humans, industry, intensive farming, liquid chromatography, pirimiphos-methyl, pollution, quizalofop, risk, rivers, screening, solid phase extraction, surface water, toxicity, trifluralin, zooplankton, Greece
Estuarine environments are being constantly stressed by new sources of pollution (e.g. pesticides) derived from activities of industry and intensive agriculture. The present study aims at quantify pesticides of three different categories (fungicides, herbicides and insecticides) in the Louros River (Epirus region, North-Western Greece). A monitoring study of 34 compounds was carried out in surface river waters from June 2011 until May 2012. Seven water sampling stations were established and 35 water samples were collected. A solid-phase extraction (SPE) method coupled with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), depending on the compound, was developed and validated. During the monitoring study 25 pesticides were detected (13 herbicides, 9 insecticides, 3 fungicides). The most commonly encountered pesticides were quizalofop-ethyl, trifluralin and pendimethaline. Tebufenpyrad was found in all sampling stations and seasons, with the highest concentrations of 0.330 μg/L at Tsopeli Lagoon exceeding the rather low concentrations reported nationwide. Regarding the environmental risk due to the presence of target compounds in surface waters, this was estimated by calculating risk quotients (RQs) for different aquatic organisms (algae, zooplankton and fish). The results denoted a possible threat for the aquatic environment, rendering in this way the RQ method as a useful screening tool. In any case, further extensive study is needed for acetochlor, pirimiphos-methyl, endosulfan-a and azinphos-ethyl in order to better correlate their occurrence and potential toxic effects in aquatic life and humans.