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Bibliography Tag: environmental impacts

Boone et al., 2014

Boone, Michelle D., Bishop, Christine A., Boswell, Leigh A., Brodman, Robert D., Burger, Joanna, Davidson, Carlos, Gochfeld, Michael, Hoverman, Jason T., Neuman-Lee, Lorin A., Relyea, Rick A., Rohr, Jason R., Salice, Christopher, Semlitsch, Raymond D., Sparling, Donald, & Weir, Scott; “Pesticide Regulation amid the Influence of Industry;” BioScience, 2014, 64(10), 917-922; DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu138.


Pesticide use results in the widespread distribution of chemical contaminants, which necessites regulatory agencies to assess the risks to environmental and human health. However, risk assessment is compromised when relatively few studies are used to determine impacts, particularly if most of the data used in an assessment are produced by a pesticide’s manufacturer, which constitutes a conflict of interest. Here, we present the shortcomings of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide risk assessment process, using the recent reassessment of atrazine’s impacts on amphibians as an example. We then offer solutions to improve the risk assessment process, which would reduce the potential for and perception of bias in a process that is crucial for environmental and human health. FULL TEXT

Alberto et al., 2016

Alberto, D., Serra, A. A., Sulmon, C., Gouesbet, G., & Couee, I.; “Herbicide-related signaling in plants reveals novel insights for herbicide use strategies, environmental risk assessment and global change assessment challenges;” Science of The Total Environment, 2016, 569-570, 1618-1628; DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.064.


Herbicide impact is usually assessed as the result of a unilinear mode of action on a specific biochemical target with a typical dose-response dynamics. Recent developments in plant molecular signaling and crosstalk between nutritional, hormonal and environmental stress cues are however revealing a more complex picture of inclusive toxicity. Herbicides induce large-scale metabolic and gene-expression effects that go far beyond the expected consequences of unilinear herbicide-target-damage mechanisms. Moreover, groundbreaking studies have revealed that herbicide action and responses strongly interact with hormone signaling pathways, with numerous regulatory protein-kinases and -phosphatases, with metabolic and circadian clock regulators and with oxidative stress signaling pathways. These interactions are likely to result in mechanisms of adjustment that can determine the level of sensitivity or tolerance to a given herbicide or to a mixture of herbicides depending on the environmental and developmental status of the plant. Such regulations can be described as rheostatic and their importance is discussed in relation with herbicide use strategies, environmental risk assessment and global change assessment challenges. FULL TEXT

Zuanazzi et al., 2020

Zuanazzi, N. R., Ghisi, N. C., & Oliveira, E. C.; “Analysis of global trends and gaps for studies about 2,4-D herbicide toxicity: A scientometric review;” Chemosphere, 2020, 241, 125016; DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125016.


2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is a herbicide that is used worldwide in agricultural and urban activities to control pests, reaching natural environments directly or indirectly. The research on 2,4-D toxicology and mutagenicity has advanced rapidly, and for this reason, this review summarizes the available data in Web of Science (WoS) to provide insights into the specific characteristics of 2,4-D toxicity and mutagenicity. Contrary to traditional reviews, this study uses a new method to quantitatively visualize and summarize information about the development of this field. Among all countries, the USA was the most active contributor with the largest publication and centrality, followed by Canada and China. The WoS categories ‘Toxicology’ and ‘Biochemical and Molecular Biology’ were the areas of greatest influence. 2,4-D research was strongly related to the keywords glyphosate, atrazine, water and gene expression. The studies trended to be focused on occupational risk, neurotoxicity, resistance or tolerance to herbicides, and to non-target species (especially aquatic ones) and molecular imprinting. In general, the authors have worked collaboratively, with concentrated efforts, allowing important advances in this field. Future research on 2,4-D toxicology and mutagenicity should probably focus on molecular biology, especially gene expression, assessment of exposure in human or other vertebrate bioindicators, and pesticide degradation studies. In summary, this scientometric analysis allowed us to make inferences about global trends in 2,4-D toxicology and mutagenicity, in order to identify tendencies and gaps and thus contribute to future research efforts.


Backhaus and Faust, 2012

Backhaus, T., & Faust, M.; “Predictive environmental risk assessment of chemical mixtures: a conceptual framework;” Environmental Science & Technology, 2012, 46(5), 2564-2573; DOI: 10.1021/es2034125.


Environmental risks of chemicals are still often assessed substance-by-substance, neglecting mixture effects. This may result in risk underestimations, as the typical exposure is toward multicomponent chemical “cocktails”. We use the two well established mixture toxicity concepts (Concentration Addition (CA) and Independent Action (IA)) for providing a tiered outline for environmental hazard and risk assessments of mixtures, focusing on general industrial chemicals and assuming that the “base set” of data (EC50s for algae, crustaceans, fish) is available. As mixture toxicities higher than predicted by CA are rare findings, we suggest applying CA as a precautious first tier, irrespective of the modes/mechanisms of action of the mixture components. In particular, we prove that summing up PEC/PNEC ratios might serve as a justifiable CA-approximation, in order to estimate in a first tier assessment whether there is a potential risk for an exposed ecosystem if only base-set data are available. This makes optimum use of existing single substance assessments as more demanding mixture investigations are requested only if there are first indications of an environmental risk. Finally we suggest to call for mode-of-action driven analyses only if error estimations indicate the possibility for substantial differences between CA- and IA-based assessments. FULL TEXT

Rendon-von Osten et al., 2017

Rendon-von Osten, J., & Dzul-Caamal, R.; “Glyphosate Residues in Groundwater, Drinking Water and Urine of Subsistence Farmers from Intensive Agriculture Localities: A Survey in Hopelchen, Campeche, Mexico;” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2017, 14(6); DOI: 10.3390/ijerph14060595.


The use of pesticides in Mexican agriculture creates an interest in learning about the presence of these substances in different environmental matrices. Glyphosate (GLY) is an herbicide widely used in the state of Campeche, located in the Mayan zone in the western Yucatan peninsula. Despite the fact that GLY is considered a non-toxic pesticide to humans, its presence in water bodies through spillage, runoff, and leaching are a risk to human health or biota that inhabit these ecosystems. In the present study, glyphosate residues were determined in groundwater, bottled drinking water, and the urine of subsistence farmers from various localities of the Hopelchen municipality in Campeche. Determination of GLY was carried out using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). The highest concentrations of GLY were observed in the groundwater (1.42 mug/L) of Ich-Ek and urine (0.47 mug/L) samples of subsistence farmers from the Francisco J. Mujica communities. The glyphosate concentrations in groundwater and bottled drinking water indicate an exposure and excessive use of glyphosate in these agricultural communities. This is one of the first studies that reports glyphosate concentration levels in human urine and bottled drinking water in Mexico and in the groundwater in the Yucatan Peninsula as part of a prospective pilot study, to which a follow-up will be performed to monitor this trend over time. FULL TEXT


Singh et al., 2020

Singh, Simranjeet, Kumar, Vijay, Datta, Shivika, Wani, Abdul Basit, Dhanjal, Daljeet Singh, Romero, Romina, & Singh, Joginder; “Glyphosate uptake, translocation, resistance emergence in crops, analytical monitoring, toxicity and degradation: a review;” Environmental Chemistry Letters, 2020; DOI: 10.1007/s10311-020-00969-z.


The herbicide glyphosate is widely used to control weeds in grain crops. The overuse of glyphosate has induced issues such as contamination of surface water, decreased soils fertility, adverse effects on soil microbiota and possible incorporation in food chains. Here we review biochemical, agricultural, microbiological and analytical aspects of glyphosate. We discuss uptake, translocation, toxicity, degradation, complexation behaviour, analytical monitoring techniques and resistance emergence in crops. We provide data of glyphosate toxicity on different ecosystems. Experiments reveal that excessive glyphosate use induces stress on crops and on non-target plants, and is toxic for mammalians, microorganisms and invertebrates. The long half-life period of glyphosate and its metabolites under different environmental conditions is a major concern. Development of analytical methods for the detection of glyphosate is important because glyphosate has no chromophoric or fluorophoric groups. FULL TEXT

Maderthaner et al., 2020

Maderthaner, M., Weber, M., Takacs, E., Mortl, M., Leisch, F., Rombke, J., Querner, P., Walcher, R., Gruber, E., Szekacs, A., & Zaller, J. G.; “Commercial glyphosate-based herbicides effects on springtails (Collembola) differ from those of their respective active ingredients and vary with soil organic matter content;” Environmental Science and Pollution Research International, 2020; DOI: 10.1007/s11356-020-08213-5.


Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) are currently the most widely used agrochemicals for weed control. Environmental risk assessments (ERA) on nontarget organisms mostly consider the active ingredients (AIs) of these herbicides, while much less is known on effects of commercial GBH formulations that are actually applied in the field. Moreover, it is largely unknown to what extent different soil characteristics alter potential side effects of herbicides. We conducted a greenhouse experiment growing a model weed population of Amaranthus retroflexus in arable field soil with either 3.0 or 4.1% soil organic matter (SOM) content and treated these weeds either with GBHs (Roundup LB Plus, Touchdown Quattro, Roundup PowerFlex) or their respective AIs (isopropylammonium, diammonium or potassium salts of glyphosate) at recommended dosages. Control pots were mechanically weeded. Nontarget effects were assessed on the surface activity of the springtail species Sminthurinus niger (pitfall trapping) and litter decomposition in the soil (teabag approach). Both GBHs and AIs increased the surface activity of springtails compared to control pots; springtail activity was higher under GBHs than under corresponding AIs. Stimulation of springtail activity was much higher in soil with higher SOM content than with low SOM content (significant treatment x SOM interaction). Litter decomposition was unaffected by GBHs, AIs or SOM levels. We suggest that ERAs for pesticides should be performed with actually applied herbicides rather than only on AIs and should also consider influences of different soil properties. FULL TEXT

Maggi et al., 2020

Maggi, Federico, la Cecilia, Daniele, Tang, Fiona H. M., & McBratney, Alexander; “The global environmental hazard of glyphosate use;” Science of The Total Environment, 2020, 717; DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137167.


Agricultural pesticides can become persistent environmental pollutants. Among many, glyphosate (GLP) is under particular scrutiny because of its extensive use and its alleged threats to the ecosystem and human health. Here, we introduce the first global environmental contamination analysis of GLP and its metabolite, AMPA, conducted with a mechanistic dynamic model at 0.5×0.5 degree spatial resolution (about 55 km at the equator) fed with geographically-distributed agricultural quantities, soil and biogeochemical properties, and hydroclimatic variables. Our analyses reveal that about 1% of croplands worldwide (385,000 km2) are susceptible to mid to high contamination hazard and less than 0.1% has a high hazard. Hotspots found in South America, Europe, and East and South Asia were mostly correlated to widespread GLP use in pastures, soybean, and corn; diffuse contributing processes were mainly biodegradation recalcitrance and persistence, while soil residue accumulation and leaching below the root zone contributed locally to the hazard in hotspots. Hydroclimatic and soil variables were major controlling factors of contamination hotspots. The relatively low risk of environmental exposure highlighted in our work for a single active substance does not rule out a greater recognition of environmental pollution by pesticides and calls for worldwide cooperation to develop timely standards and implement regulated strategies to prevent excess global environmental pollution. FULL TEXT

Hendershot et al., 2020

Hendershot, J. Nicholas, Smith, Jeffrey R., Anderson, Christopher B., Letten, Andrew D., Frishkoff, Luke O., Zook, Jim R., Fukami, Tadashi, & Daily, Gretchen C.; “Intensive farming drives long-term shifts in avian community composition;” Nature, 2020, 579(7799), 393-396; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2090-6.


Agricultural practices constitute both the greatest cause of biodiversity loss and the greatest opportunity for conservation. However, little is known about the long-term effects of alternative , given the shrinking scope of protected areas in many regions. Recent studies have documented the high levels of biodiversity— across many taxa and biomes—that agricultural landscapes can support over the short term agricultural practices on ecological communities. Here we document changes in bird communities in intensive-agriculture, diversified-agriculture and natural-forest habitats in 4 regions of Costa Rica over a period of 18 years. Long-term directional shifts in bird communities were evident in intensive- and diversified-agricultural habitats, but were strongest in intensive-agricultural habitats, where the number of endemic and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List species fell over time. All major guilds, including those involved in pest control, pollination and seed dispersal, were affected. Bird communities in intensive-agricultural habitats proved more susceptible to changes in climate, with hotter and drier periods associated with greater changes in community composition in these settings. These findings demonstrate that diversified agriculture can help to alleviate the long-term loss of biodiversity outside natural protected areas. FULL TEXT

Silva et al., 2018

Silva, V., Montanarella, L., Jones, A., Fernandez-Ugalde, O., Mol, H. G. J., Ritsema, C. J., & Geissen, V.; “Distribution of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in agricultural topsoils of the European Union;” Science of The Total Environment, 2018, 621, 1352-1359; DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.093.


Approval for glyphosate-based herbicides in the European Union (EU) is under intense debate due to concern about their effects on the environment and human health. The occurrence of glyphosate residues in European water bodies is rather well documented whereas only few, fragmented and outdated information is available for European soils. We provide the first large-scale assessment of distribution (occurrence and concentrations) of glyphosate and its main metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in EU agricultural topsoils, and estimate their potential spreading by wind and water erosion. Glyphosate and/or AMPA were present in 45% of the topsoils collected, originating from eleven countries and six crop systems, with a maximum concentration of 2mgkg(-1). Several glyphosate and AMPA hotspots were identified across the EU. Soil loss rates (obtained from recently derived European maps) were used to estimate the potential export of glyphosate and AMPA by wind and water erosion. The estimated exports, result of a conceptually simple model, clearly indicate that particulate transport can contribute to human and environmental exposure to herbicide residues. Residue threshold values in soils are urgently needed to define potential risks for soil health and off site effects related to export by wind and water erosion. FULL TEXT

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