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Toxicity of stormwater runoff after dormant spray application of diazinon and esfenvalerate (Asana) in a French prune orchard, Glenn County, California, USA.

Werner I; Deanovic LA; Hinton DE; Henderson JD; de Oliveira GH; Wilson BW; Krueger W; Wallender WW; Oliver MN; Zalom FG
Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2002 Jan; 68(1):29-36
Organophosphate pesticides (OPs), in particular diazinon and chlorpyrifos, have frequently been detected in toxic concentrations in waterways draining agricultural and urban areas in California's Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds (US Geological Survey 1997, Werner et al. 2000). Toxicity has in part been linked to stormwater runoff of OP pesticides applied during the dormant season on stonefruit and almond orchards (Foe and Sheipline 1993; Kuivila and Foe 1995). State Water Quality Plans have now been implemented by regulatory agencies to prevent movement of OPs into surface water, and growers have reduced the application of OPs. Simultaneously, the use of so-called reduced-risk alternatives, such as pyrethroid insecticides and Bacillus thuringiensis bloom sprays, has increased dramatically (Epstein et al. 2000). Best management practices (BMPs) are aimed at reducing off-site movement of pesticides into surface waters. Pyrethroid pesticides, among them the widely used esfenvalerate (Asana) are considerably more hydrophobic (solubility in water: 0.4 micorg/L) than the relatively soluble OP pesticide diazinon (solubility in water: 40,000 microg/L; Extoxnet 2001). Although runoff of pyrethroids is believed to be minimal thus reducing pesticide impact on surface waters, esfenvalerate has been shown to be toxic to fish at extremely low concentrations (less than or equal to 1 microg/L; Haya 1989; Clark et al. 1989; Lozano et al. 1992), and potentially poses a significantly higher risk to these organisms than OP pesticides. In addition, its potential to bioaccumulate and bioconcentrate is high (Smith and Stratton 1986). A second recommended method for reducing toxic runoff from orchards is the use of different orchard floor cover crops. Cover crops are believed to enhance water infiltration (Hargrove 1991). This study was performed to measure the effectiveness of these two BMPs in reducing the toxicity of storm water runoff. Experiments were carried out in a French prune orchard at the Talbot - Vereschagin Ranch, Glenn County. California.
Agricultural-chemicals; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-products; Pesticides; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Organo-phosphorus-pesticides; Waste-treatment; Water-analysis; Water-purification; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Toxic-effects
I. Werner, Aquatic Toxicology Program, Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
333-41-5; 2921-88-2; 66230-04-4
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Agriculture; Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Performing Organization
University of California - Davis
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division