Current-use pesticides in inland lake waters, precipitation, and air from Ontario, Canada



Concentrations of current-use pesticides (CUPs) in water, zooplankton, precipitation, and air samples as well as stereoisomer fractions (SF; herbicidally active/total stereoisomers) of metolachlor were determined in water samples collected from 10 remote inland lakes in Ontario, Canada, between 2003 and 2005. The most frequently detected chemicals in lake water, precipitation, and air were α-endosulfan, atrazine, metolachlor, chlorpyrifos, chlorothalonil, and trifluralin, and α-endosulfan and chlorpyrifos were the chemicals detected frequently in zooplankton. Air concentrations of these CUPs were within the range of previously reported values for background sites in the Great Lakes basin. High detection frequency of CUPs in lake water and precipitation was attributed to high usage amounts, but some CUPs such as ametryn and disulfoton that were not used in Ontario were also detected. Mean bioaccumulation factors (wet wt) in zooplankton for endosulfan ranged from 160 to 590 and from 20 to 60 for chlorpyrifos. The overall median SF of metolachlor in precipitation samples (0.846) was similar to that of the commercial S-metolachlor (0.882). However, the median SF of metolachlor in water from all sampled inland lakes (0.806) was significantly lower compared with Ontario rivers (0.873) but higher compared with previous measurements in the Great Lakes (0.710). Lakes with smaller watershed areas showed higher SFs, supporting the hypothesis of stereoselective processing of deposited metolachlor within the watersheds, followed by transport to the lakes. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011; 30:1539–1548. © 2011 SETAC