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Ecotoxicology. 2008 Oct;17(7):680-96. doi: 10.1007/s10646-008-0231-z. Epub 2008 Jul 19.

Aquatic risk assessment of pesticides in surface waters in and adjacent to the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks: II. Probabilistic analyses.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Studies, Ecotoxicology & Risk Assessment Laboratory, Southeast Environmental Research Center, Florida International University, Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151st Street, North Miami, FL 33181, USA.


A screening-level aquatic probabilistic risk assessment was completed to determine the potential risks of organic pesticides found in surface waters of the C-111 freshwater basin (11 sites at the east boundary of the Everglades National Park) and adjacent estuarine tidal zones (two sites in northeast Florida Bay, one site in south Biscayne Bay) in south Florida. It followed the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) ecological risk framework and focused only on the acute and chronic risks of endosulfan and chlorpyrifos individually and jointly with atrazine, metolachlor, and malathion by comparing distributions of surface water exposure concentrations with the distributions of species toxicity data. The highest risk of acute effects was associated with endosulfan exposure to freshwater arthropods at S-178/site C on the C-111 system, followed by endosulfan effects to estuarine arthropods at Joe Bay in northeast Florida Bay. The highest risk of acute effects from joint toxicity of pesticides was to estuarine arthropods in Joe Bay followed by freshwater arthropods in S-178/site C. For fish, the highest acute risk was for endosulfan at S-178/site C. There was low potential for acute risk of endosulfan to fish at estuarine sites. Joint probability curves indicated that the majority of potential risks to arthropods and fish were due to endosulfan concentrations and not to chlorpyrifos, at S-178/site C. In addition, the highest risk of acute effects for saltwater organisms was in Joe Bay, which receives water from the C-111. The potential risk of chronic effects from pesticide exposures was minimal at fresh- and saltwater sites except at S-178/site C, where endosulfan concentrations showed the highest exceedence of species toxicity values. In general, potential risks were higher in February than June.

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