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Bibliography Tag: environmental impacts

Mahler et al., 2021

Mahler, B. J., Nowell, L. H., Sandstrom, M. W., Bradley, P. M., Romanok, K. M., Konrad, C. P., & Van Metre, P. C.; “Inclusion of Pesticide Transformation Products Is Key to Estimating Pesticide Exposures and Effects in Small U.S. Streams;” Environmental Science & Technology, 2021; DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c06625.


Improved analytical methods can quantify hundreds of pesticide transformation products (TPs), but understanding of TP occurrence and potential toxicity in aquatic ecosystems remains limited. We quantified 108 parent pesticides and 116 TPs in more than 3700 samples from 442 small streams in mostly urban basins across five major regions of the United States. TPs were detected nearly as frequently as parents (90 and 95% of streams, respectively); 102 TPs were detected at least once and 28 were detected in >20% samples in at least one region-TPs of 9 herbicides, 2 fungicides (chlorothalonil and thiophanate-methyl), and 1 insecticide (fipronil) were the most frequently detected. TPs occurred commonly during baseflow conditions, indicating chronic environmental TP exposures to aquatic organisms and the likely importance of groundwater as a TP source. Hazard quotients based on acute aquatic-life benchmarks for invertebrates and nonvascular plants and vertebrate-centric molecular endpoints (sublethal effects) quantify the range of the potential contribution of TPs to environmental risk and highlight several TP exposure-response data gaps. A precautionary approach using equimolar substitution of parent benchmarks or endpoints for missing TP benchmarks indicates that potential aquatic effects of pesticide TPs could be underestimated by an order of magnitude or more. FULL TEXT

Tang et al., 2021

Tang, Fiona H. M., Lenzen, Manfred, McBratney, Alexander, & Maggi, Federico; “Risk of pesticide pollution at the global scale;” Nature Geoscience, 2021; DOI: 10.1038/s41561-021-00712-5.


Pesticides are widely used to protect food production and meet global food demand but are also ubiquitous environmental pollutants, causing adverse effects on water quality, biodiversity and human health. Here we use a global database of pesticide applications and a spatially explicit environmental model to estimate the world geography of environmental pollution risk caused by 92 active ingredients in 168 countries. We considered a region to be at risk of pollution if pesticide residues in the environment exceeded the no-effect concentrations, and to be at high risk if residues exceeded this by three orders of magnitude. We find that 64% of global agricultural land (approximately 24.5 million km2) is at risk of pesticide pollution by more than one active ingredient, and 31% is at high risk. Among the high-risk areas, about 34% are in high-biodiversity regions, 5% in water-scarce areas and 19% in low- and lower-middle-income nations. We identify watersheds in South Africa, China, India, Australia and Argentina as high-concern regions because they have high pesticide pollution risk, bear high biodiversity and suffer from water scarcity. Our study expands earlier pesticide risk assessments as it accounts for multiple active ingredients and integrates risks in different environmental compartments at a global scale.  FULL TEXT

Epstein and Zhang, 2014

Epstein, Lynn, & Zhang, Minghua. (2014). The Impact of Integrated Pest Management Programs on Pesticide Use in California, USA. In R. Peshin & D. Pimentel (Eds.), Integrated Pest Management (pp. 173-200): Springer.


Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is often promoted to farmers as a method that can provide the most economical, sustained disease and pest control, but promoted to the public as a method to reduce agricultural pesticide use. California has a public infrastructure for supporting IPM research and implementation, largely through the University of California IPM program. California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation’s Pesticide Use Reports provide a system to track pesticide use state-wide. In practice, IPM in California is extremely pesticide-dependent, particularly in weed control and in agricultural production systems that rely on soil fumigation, such as strawberries. During our study period between 1993 and 2010, California had a decrease in use of 88 % of the highly-used pesticides listed for regulatory concern for human health. However, most of these pesticides were replaced with other chemicals rather than with non-chemical methods. We feature several case studies that illustrate key issues in California IPM: the limited progress in meeting Montreal Protocol guidelines for methyl bromide phase-out due to critical use exemptions for strawberry producers; a successful IPM program to decrease use of dormant-season organophosphates that are important water pollutants; the increase in use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which might have a role in the current bee colony collapse disorder; and the limited use of all of the commercialized microbial biocontrol agents except for Bacillus thuringiensis. FULL TEXT

Cuyno, 2001

Cuyno, L.; “Economic analysis of environmental benefits of integrated pest management: a Philippine case study;” Agricultural Economics, 2001, 25(2-3), 227-233; DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-0862.2001.tb00203.x.


Health and environmental concerns associated with pesticide use have motivated the development of integrated pest management (IPM) programs around the world. Little empirical work has been completed to estimate the value of the environmental benefits of IPM. This paper provides an approach to evaluate a broad set of such benefits for a vegetable program in the Philippines. Assessments were made of (1) IPM-induced reduction in environmental risks posed by pesticides in onion production in the Central Luzon and (2) willingness to pay to reduce those risks. The latter was based on a contingent valuation (CV) interview survey of 176 farmers. Risks to humans, birds, aquatic species, beneficial insects, and other animals were considered. IPM practices on onions reduced the use of specific pesticides from 25 to 65%, depending on the practice, and the projected adoption of IPM practices varied from 36 to 94%. Estimated economic benefits varied from 231 to 305 pesos per person per cropping season (40 pesos = 1 US$). The aggregate value of environmental benefits for the five villages where the IPM research program was centered was estimated at 150,000 US$ for the 4600 local residents. Assessment of environmental benefits can help in designing public policies and regulations, and in justifying support for publicly funded IPM programs.  FULL TEXT

Suppa et al., 2020

Suppa, A., Kvist, J., Li, X., Dhandapani, V., Almulla, H., Tian, A. Y., Kissane, S., Zhou, J., Perotti, A., Mangelson, H., Langford, K., Rossi, V., Brown, J. B., & Orsini, L.; “Roundup causes embryonic development failure and alters metabolic pathways and gut microbiota functionality in non-target species;” Microbiome, 2020, 8(1), 170; DOI: 10.1186/s40168-020-00943-5.


BACKGROUND: Research around the weedkiller Roundup is among the most contentious of the twenty-first century. Scientists have provided inconclusive evidence that the weedkiller causes cancer and other life-threatening diseases, while industry-paid research reports that the weedkiller has no adverse effect on humans or animals. Much of the controversial evidence on Roundup is rooted in the approach used to determine safe use of chemicals, defined by outdated toxicity tests. We apply a system biology approach to the biomedical and ecological model species Daphnia to quantify the impact of glyphosate and of its commercial formula, Roundup, on fitness, genome-wide transcription and gut microbiota, taking full advantage of clonal reproduction in Daphnia. We then apply machine learning-based statistical analysis to identify and prioritize correlations between genome-wide transcriptional and microbiota changes.

RESULTS: We demonstrate that chronic exposure to ecologically relevant concentrations of glyphosate and Roundup at the approved regulatory threshold for drinking water in the US induce embryonic developmental failure, induce significant DNA damage (genotoxicity), and interfere with signaling. Furthermore, chronic exposure to the weedkiller alters the gut microbiota functionality and composition interfering with carbon and fat metabolism, as well as homeostasis. Using the “Reactome,” we identify conserved pathways across the Tree of Life, which are potential targets for Roundup in other species, including liver metabolism, inflammation pathways, and collagen degradation, responsible for the repair of wounds and tissue remodeling.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that chronic exposure to concentrations of Roundup and glyphosate at the approved regulatory threshold for drinking water causes embryonic development failure and alteration of key metabolic functions via direct effect on the host molecular processes and indirect effect on the gut microbiota. The ecological model species Daphnia occupies a central position in the food web of aquatic ecosystems, being the preferred food of small vertebrates and invertebrates as well as a grazer of algae and bacteria. The impact of the weedkiller on this keystone species has cascading effects on aquatic food webs, affecting their ability to deliver critical ecosystem services. FULL TEXT

Masood et al., 2021

Masood, M. I., Naseem, M., Warda, S. A., Tapia-Laliena, M. A., Rehman, H. U., Nasim, M. J., & Schafer, K. H.; “Environment permissible concentrations of glyphosate in drinking water can influence the fate of neural stem cells from the subventricular zone of the postnatal mouse;” Environmental Pollution, 2021, 270, 116179; DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116179.


The developing nervous system is highly vulnerable to environmental toxicants especially pesticides. Glyphosate pesticide induces neurotoxicity both in humans and rodents, but so far only when exposed to higher concentrations. A few studies, however, have also reported the risk of general toxicity of glyphosate at concentrations comparable to allowable limits set up by environmental protection authorities. In vitro data regarding glyphosate neurotoxicity at concentrations comparable to maximum permissible concentrations in drinking water is lacking. In the present study, we established an in vitro assay based upon neural stem cells (NSCs) from the subventricular zone of the postnatal mouse to decipher the effects of two maximum permissible concentrations of glyphosate in drinking water on the basic neurogenesis processes. Our results demonstrated that maximum permissible concentrations of glyphosate recognized by environmental protection authorities significantly reduced the cell migration and differentiation of NSCs as demonstrated by the downregulation of the expression levels of the neuronal ss-tubulin III and the astrocytic S100B genes. The expression of the cytoprotective gene CYP1A1 was downregulated whilst the expression of oxidative stresses indicator gene SOD1 was upregulated. The concentration comparable to non-toxic human plasma concentration significantly induced cytotoxicity and activated Ca(2+) signalling in the differentiated culture. Our findings demonstrated that the permissible concentrations of glyphosate in drinking water recognized by environmental protection authorities are capable of inducing neurotoxicity in the developing nervous system. FULL TEXT

Soltani et al., 2020

Soltani, Nader, Oliveira, Maxwel C., Alves, Guilherme S., Werle, Rodrigo, Norsworthy, Jason K., Sprague, Christy L., Young, Bryan G., Reynolds, Daniel B., Brown, Ashli, & Sikkema, Peter H.; “Off-target movement assessment of dicamba in North America;” Weed Technology, 2020, 34(3), 318-330; DOI: 10.1017/wet.2020.17.


Six experiments were conducted in 2018 on field sites located in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ontario, and Wisconsin to evaluate the off-target movement (OTM) of dicamba under field-scale conditions. The highest estimated dicamba injury in non-dicamba-resistant (DR) soybean was 50, 44, 39, 67, 15, and 44% injury for non-covered areas and 59, 5, 13, 42, 0, and 41% injury for covered areas during dicamba application in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ontario, and Wisconsin, respectively. The level of injury generally decreased exponentially as the downwind distance increased under covered and non-covered areas at all sites. There was an estimated 10% injury in non-DR soybean at 113, 8, 11, 8, and 8 m; and estimated 1% injury at 293, 28, 71, 15, and 19 m from the edge of treated field downwind when plants were not covered during dicamba application in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario and Wisconsin, respectively. Filter paper collectors placed from 4 up to 137 m downwind from the edge of the sprayed area suggested that the dicamba deposition reduced exponentially with distance. The greatest injury to non-DR soybean from dicamba OTM occurred at Nebraska and Arkansas (as far as 250 m). Non-DR soybean injury was greatest adjacent to the dicamba sprayed area but, injury decreased with no injury beyond 20 m downwind or any other direction from the dicamba sprayed area in Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, and Wisconsin. The presence of soybean injury under covered and non-covered areas during the spray period for primary drift suggests that secondary movement of dicamba was evident at five sites. Further research is needed to determine the exact forms of secondary movement of dicamba under different environmental conditions. FULL TEXT

Berens et al., 2020

Berens, Matthew B., Capel, Paul D., & Arnold, William A.; “Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Surface Water, Groundwater, and Wastewater across Land Use Gradients and Potential Effects;” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2020, In Press; DOI: 10.1002/etc.4959.


Neonicotinoid insecticides cause adverse effects on non-target organisms, but more information about their occurrence in surface and groundwater is needed across a range of land use. Sixty-five sites in Minnesota U.S., representing rivers, streams, lakes, groundwater, and treated wastewater, were monitored via collection of 157 water samples to determine variability in spatiotemporal neonicotinoid concentrations. The data were used to assess relations to land use, hydrogeologic condition, and potential effects on aquatic life. Results showed total neonicotinoid concentrations were highest in agricultural watersheds (median=12 ng/L) followed by urban (2.9 ng/L) and undeveloped watersheds (1.9 ng/L). Clothianidin was most frequently detected in agricultural areas (detection frequency = 100%) and imidacloprid most often in urban waters (detection frequency = 97%). The seasonal trend of neonicotinoid concentrations in rivers, streams, and lakes showed that their highest concentrations coincided with spring planting and elevated streamflow. Consistently low neonicotinoid concentrations were found in shallow groundwater in agricultural regions (<1.2-16 ng/L, median = 1.4 ng/L). Treated municipal wastewater had the highest concentrations across all hydrologic compartments (12-48 ng/L, median = 19 ng/L), but neonicotinoid loads from rivers and streams (median = 4100 mg/d) were greater than in treated wastewater (700 mg/d). No samples exceeded acute aquatic-life benchmarks for individual neonicotinoids, whereas 10% of samples exceeded a chronic benchmark for neonicotinoid mixtures. Although 62% of samples contained two or more neonicotinoids, the observed concentrations suggest there were low acute and potential chronic risks to aquatic life. This the first study of its size in Minnesota and is critical to better understanding the drivers of widescale environmental contamination by neonicotinoids where urban, agricultural, and undeveloped lands are present. FULL TEXT

Vencill et al., 2017

Vencill, William K., Nichols, Robert L., Webster, Theodore M., Soteres, John K., Mallory-Smith, Carol, Burgos, Nilda R., Johnson, William G., & McClelland, Marilyn R.; “Herbicide Resistance: Toward an Understanding of Resistance Development and the Impact of Herbicide-Resistant Crops;” Weed Science, 2017, 60(SP1), 2-30; DOI: 10.1614/ws-d-11-00206.1.


Development of herbicide-resistant crops has resulted in significant changes to agronomic practices, one of which is the adoption of effective, simple, low-risk, crop-production systems with less dependency on tillage and lower energy requirements. Overall, the changes have had a positive environmental effect by reducing soil erosion, the fuel use for tillage, and the number of herbicides with groundwater advisories as well as a slight reduction in the overall environmental impact quotient of herbicide use. However, herbicides exert a high selection pressure on weed populations, and density and diversity of weed communities change over time in response to herbicides and other control practices imposed on them. Repeated and intensive use of herbicides with the same mechanisms of action (MOA; the mechanism in the plant that the herbicide detrimentally affects so that the plant succumbs to the herbicide; e.g., inhibition of an enzyme that is vital to plant growth or the inability of a plant to metabolize the herbicide before it has done damage) can rapidly select for shifts to tolerant, difficult-to-control weeds and the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds, especially in the absence of the concurrent use of herbicides with different mechanisms of action or the use of mechanical or cultural practices or both. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the basic tenets of weed management, to define herbicide resistance and tolerance and how they affect crop production and are affected by management practices, and to present the environmental impacts of herbicide-resistant crops. This paper will summarize aspects of herbicide resistance in five different sections: (1) a description of basic weed science management practices and concepts, (2) definitions of resistance and tolerance in weed science, (3) environmental impacts of herbicide-resistant crops, (4) strategies for management of weed species shifts and herbicide-resistant weeds and adoption by the agricultural community, and (5) gene-flow potential from herbicide-resistant crops. FULL TEXT

Malone and Foster, 2019

Malone, M., & Foster, E.; “A mixed-methods approach to determine how conservation management programs and techniques have affected herbicide use and distribution in the environment over time;” Science of The Total Environment, 2019, 660, 145-157; DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.266.


No-till agriculture has the ability to reduce fuel consumption, increase soil moisture, reduce soil erosion and increase organic matter. However, it remains unclear whether it increases herbicide use overall in the long term for communities that use no-till as their primary source of conservation agriculture. The preponderance of literature suggests that no-till has increased herbicide use, but it is difficult to quantify how much herbicide has increased in a given location and to directly correlate changes in herbicide use to changes in soil and water quality. This paper provides several methods to determine how herbicide use has changed over time in an agricultural community in Oregon that switched over to no-till in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These methods include: spatial analysis of remote sensing satellite imagery of vegetation health along streams; use of a drone fitted with an agricultural camera to detect vegetation health; and soil, sediment, and water sampling for the most commonly used herbicides in the study area. By using these methods, this study shows where stream vegetation health continues to be an issue in the agricultural community, and where concentrations of a commonly used herbicide in the community may be impacting human and ecological health. This study has important implications for impacts to soil and water quality over time in agricultural communities, as many researchers have noted the need to determine the long term effects of conversion to no-till and other forms of conservation agriculture. By providing these methods, communities heavily engaged in multiple forms of conservation agriculture may be able to track herbicide use changes in real time and on shorter decadal time spans in places where conservation agriculture is practiced. FULL TEXT

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