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Keywords:

  • Roundup®;
  • Glyphosate;
  • Polyethoxylated tallow amine;
  • Amphibian;
  • Tadpole

Abstract

The toxicity of two glyphosate formulations (the original formulation of Roundup® and Roundup WeatherMAX®) to six species of North American larval anurans was evaluated by using 96-h static, nonrenewal aqueous exposures. The 96-h median lethal concentration values (LC50) ranged from 1.80 to 4.22 mg acid equivalent (ae)/L and 1.96 to 3.26 mg ae/L for the original formulation of Roundup and Roundup WeatherMAX, respectively. Judged by LC50 values, four species were more sensitive to Roundup WeatherMAX exposures, and two species were more sensitive to the original formulation. Two of six species, Bufo fowleri (p < 0.05, F = 14.89, degrees of freedom [df] = 1) and Rana clamitans (p < 0.05, F = 18.46, df = 1), had significantly different responses to the two formulations tested. Increased sensitivity to Roundup WeatherMAX likely was due to differences in the surfactants or relative amounts of the surfactants in the two formulations. Potency slopes for exposures of the original formulation ranged from 24.3 to 92.5% mortality/mg ae/L. Thresholds ranged from 1.31 to 3.68 mg ae/L, showing an approximately three times difference in the initiation of response among species tested. For exposures of Roundup WeatherMAX, slopes ranged from 49.3 to 84.2% mortality/mg ae/L. Thresholds ranged from 0.83 to 2.68 mg ae/L. Margins of safety derived from a simulated direct overspray were above 1, except for one species in exposures of Roundup WeatherMAX. Laboratory data based on aqueous exposures are conservative because of the lack of environmental ligands; however, these tests provide information regarding the relative toxicity between these two Roundup formulations. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011;30:2756–2761. © 2011 SETAC