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J Environ Monit. 2004 Jan;6(1):58-64. Epub 2003 Nov 26.

The fate of fipronil in modular estuarine mesocosms.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.


The degradation and corresponding product manifold for the pesticide fipronil was determined in three replicate estuarine mesocosms. Aqueous fipronil concentrations rapidly decreased over the 672 h timescale of the experiment (95% removal). Loss was apparently first-order in fipronil, although there appeared to be a change in the removal mechanism after 96 h that corresponded to a dramatic slowdown in its disappearance. The reduction product of fipronil, fipronil sulfide, was not detected in the water column; however, it formed rapidly in sediments and was identified as the major product of fipronil degradation in the system (20% yield at 672 h, with respect to initial fipronil concentration). Fipronil sulfone is thought to form primarily via biological oxidation; and, although it was generated rapidly in the water column (10% yield), only trace amounts were detected in the sediment (1% yield). The direct photolysis product of fipronil, fipronil desulfinyl, was present in all samples; it formed rapidly in the water column (4% yield) and partitioned into the sediment phase (7% yield) over the course of the experiment. The mass balance on fipronil and associated products was 42% at 672 h.

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