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Whole-sediment toxicity identification evaluation tools for pyrethroid insecticides: I. Piperonyl butoxide addition

Authors

  • Erin L. Amweg,

    1. Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, 3060 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, California 94720-3140, USA
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  • Donald P. Weston

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, 3060 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, California 94720-3140, USA
    • Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, 3060 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, California 94720-3140, USA
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  • Published on the Web 6/22/2007

Abstract

Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is a synergist used in some pyrethroid and pyrethrin pesticide products and has been used in toxicity identification evaluations (TIEs) of water samples to indicate organophosphate or pyrethroid-related toxicity. Methods were developed and validated for use of PBO as a TIE tool in whole-sediment testing to help establish if pyrethroids are the cause of toxicity observed in field-collected sediments. Pyrethroid toxicity was increased slightly more than twofold in 10-d sediment toxicity tests with Hyalella azteca exposed to 25 μg/L of PBO in the overlying water. This concentration was found to be effective for sediment TIE use, but it is well below that used in previous water and pore-water TIEs with PBO. The effect of PBO on the toxicity of several nonpyrethroids also was tested. Toxicity of the organophosphate chlorpyrifos was reduced by PBO, and the compound had no effect on toxicity of cadmium, DDT, or fluoranthene. Mixtures of the pyrethroid bifenthrin and chlorpyrifos were tested to determine the ability of PBO addition to identify pyrethroid toxicity when organophosphates were present in a sample. The PBO-induced increase in pyrethroid toxicity was not seen when chlorpyrifos was present at or above equitoxic concentrations with the pyrethroid. In the vast majority of field samples, however, the presence of chlorpyrifos does not interfere with use of PBO to identify pyrethroid toxicity. Eleven field sediments or soils containing pyrethroids and/or chlorpyrifos were used to validate the method. Characterization of the causative agent as determined by PBO addition was consistent with confirmation by chemical analysis and comparison to known toxicity thresholds in 10 of the 11 sediments.

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