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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jan 14;57(1):232-8. doi: 10.1021/jf8026759.

Effects of black carbon on pyrethroid availability in sediment.

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Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.


Pyrethroids are widely used synthetic insecticides with the characteristics of high hydrophobicity and broad-spectrum aquatic toxicity. Many studies indicate that black carbon (BC) plays an important role in the bioavailability of hydrophobic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls in soils and sediments. However, the effect of BC on bioavailability of other compounds such as pyrethroids in sediments is less known. In this study, we simultaneously measured pyrethroid uptake into polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) fibers and 24 h bioaccumulation in Chironomus tentans in a sediment amended with a charcoal at different rates. There were significant negative correlations between the accumulation of pyrethroids in PDMS fibers (C(PDMS)) and the charcoal level in sediment. When the charcoal content was increased from 0 to 1.0%, C(PDMS) decreased by 5.7-9.1%. Amendment of 1.5% charcoal to the original sediment decreased biota sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) of (14)C-permethrin in C. tentans from 2.8 to 1.7. The effect of charcoal was further found to be similar for the different subcellular fractions of C. tentans, including cell debris, organelles and proteins, and granules. The overall effect of charcoal on pyrethroid availability, however, was modest, and adsorption of pyrethroids on pure charcoal was found to be similar to that on sediment organic carbon. The relatively weak sorption on charcoal was likely due to the large molecular weight and sizes of pyrethroids, which might hinder their diffusion into charcoal nanopores.

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