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Chemosphere. 2007 Nov;70(1):57-64. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

Environmental risk assessment of veterinary pharmaceuticals: development of a standard laboratory test with the dung beetle Aphodius constans.

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ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH, Flörsheim, Germany.


The environmental risk assessment of veterinary pharmaceuticals for dung beetles is required if the substance is an anti-parasiticide for the treatment of pasture animals. However, the demonstration of the environmental safety of those substances for dung fauna is hampered by the fact that no standardized laboratory test system is currently available. Here a test system using the temperate dung beetle species Aphodius (Agrilinus) constans (Scarabaeidae: Aphodiinae) Duftschmidt is described. The survival of first instar larvae of A. constans exposed to a model substance, dimethoate, spiked into formulated (i.e. dried, formulated and re-wetted) or fresh dung was measured over a period of three weeks. Larvae performed better in formulated dung which also proved to be more suitable for mixing-in test substances homogenously. Dimethoate caused significant larval mortality with LC50 values within a range of 1.3-2.8 mg a.s./kg dung (d.w.), depending on the dung type. Based on the data presented here, it is recommended to incorporate this new test system in the risk assessment process for veterinary pharmaceuticals. However, an international ringtest should to be performed beforehand to ensure adequate validation of the method.

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