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Abstract

Pesticides in agricultural surface water runoff cause a major threat to freshwater systems. Installation of filter systems or constructed wetlands in areas of preferential run-off is a possible measure for pesticides abatement. To develop such systems, combinations of filter materials suitable for retention of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic organic pesticides were tested for pesticide removal in planted microcosms. The retention of six pesticides frequently detected in surface waters (bentazone, MCPA, metalaxyl, propiconazole, pencycuron, and imidacloprid) was evaluated in unplanted and planted pot experiments with novel bed material mixtures consisting of pumice, vermiculite, water super-absorbent polymer (SAP) for retention of ionic and water soluble pesticides, and synthetic hydrophobic wool for adsorption of hydrophobic pesticides. The novel materials were compared to soil with high organic matter content. The highest retention of the pesticides was observed in the soil, with a considerable translocation of pesticides into the plants, and low leaching potential, in particular for the hydrophobic compounds. However, due to the high retention of pesticides in soil, environmental risks related to their long term mobilization cannot be excluded. Mixtures of pumice and vermiculite with SAP resulted in high retention of i) water and ii) both hydrophilic and hydrophobic pesticides but with much lower leaching potential compared to the mineral systems without SAP. Mixtures of such materials may provide near natural treatment options in riparian strips and also for treatment of rainwater runoff without the need for water containment systems.

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Abstract

This project evaluated whether the principles of combined toxicity assessment (CTA) and cumulative risk assessment (CRA) can be used to predict the toxicity of ecologically-relevant mixtures of plant protection products (PPPs) in surface waters receiving run-off from Norwegian agricultural areas. A combination of testing solid phase extracts (SPE), whole surface water and a synthetic mixture in an algal bioassay and predicting combined toxicity using CTA models were conducted on selected samples from the Heia catchment (Råde, Norway). The results demonstrated that designing and testing synthetic mixtures on the basis of measured concentrations of PPPs was the best method for the accurate determination of combined toxicity due to confounding factors introduced by whole water and SPE testing. Combined toxicity models based on Concentration Addition (CA) successfully predicted the toxicity of the complex synthetic mixture and verified that a mixture of PPPs acted in an additive manner. Tiered assessment of the cumulative risk of active PPP substances and PPP formulations proposed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) were considered applicable also for the CRA of complex environmental mixtures and could potentially aid the identification of relevant mixtures, risk drivers and susceptible species as input to the assessment and approval of PPPs.

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Abstract

Although the sulfonylurea herbicides have been used for many years worldwide, few field studies have been performed and little is known about the occurrence, fate and transport of sulfonylureas in the field. This report presents results from the first controlled field and laboratory-studies on the fate of sulfonylurea herbicides in Norway and a method for sample preparation and LC-MS/MS analysis of sulfonylurea herbicides in water samples is also presented.