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Aquat Toxicol. 2006 Jun 30;78(3):262-71. Epub 2006 Apr 18.

Influence of light in acute toxicity bioassays of imidacloprid and zinc pyrithione to zooplankton crustaceans.

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  • 1Laboratory of Applied Entomology and Zoology, Faculty of Horticulture, Chiba University, 648 Matsudo-shi, Chiba 271-8510, Japan.


The acute toxicity of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, and zinc pyrithione (Zpt), a biocide used in anti-dandruff shampoos and protective antifouling paints, to three species of ostracods and two waterfleas, including Daphnia magna, was determined and compared under light and dark conditions. Under normal laboratory conditions, UV light had no significant influence on the outcome of toxicity bioassays, although in the case of imidacloprid both EC(50) and LC(50) calculated values were twice as high under the light as in the dark. No influence of UV light was observed on bioassays conducted with Zpt, in spite of the fast aqueous photolysis exhibited by this compound. Imidacloprid 48-h LC(50) for cladocerans (65-133mg/L) were two orders of magnitude higher than for ostracods (301-715microg/L); values of EC(50) for cladocerans and ostracods were 2-6mg/L and 3-16microg/L, respectively. Toxicity of Zpt to both ostracod and cladoceran species appears to be similar, with 48-h LC(50) in the range 137-524 and 75-197microg/L for ostracods and cladocerans, respectively, and similar values for EC(50)s. The mortality endpoint (LC(50)), however, is not a reliable predictor of the effects of imidacloprid under field situations (e.g. rice paddies), because the paralysis effect induced by this insecticide takes place at much lower concentrations than those required to cause the death of the animals: regardless of the taxa, differences as large as 100- or 600-fold were observed between the EC(50) and LC(50) for the same exposures. As a consequence, immobilization tests and EC(50) values are recommended for this class of compounds, while caution should be exercised in environmental risk assessments of this and possibly other related neonicotinoid insecticides with similar activity.

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