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Chemosphere. 2012 Sep;89(3):228-34. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.04.023. Epub 2012 May 5.

Occurrence of boscalid and other selected fungicides in surface water and groundwater in three targeted use areas in the United States.

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US Geological Survey, 810 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 206, West Trenton, NJ 08628, United States.


To provide an assessment of the occurrence of fungicides in water resources, the US Geological Survey used a newly developed analytical method to measure 33 fungicides and an additional 57 current-use pesticides in water samples from streams, ponds, and shallow groundwater in areas of intense fungicide use within three geographic areas across the United States. Sampling sites were selected near or within farms using prophylactic fungicides at rates and types typical of their geographic location. At least one fungicide was detected in 75% of the surface waters and 58% of the groundwater wells sampled. Twelve fungicides were detected including boscalid (72%), azoxystrobin (51%), pyraclostrobin (40%), chlorothalonil (38%) and pyrimethanil (28%). Boscalid, a carboxamide fungicide registered for use in the US in 2003, was detected more frequently than atrazine and metolachlor, two herbicides that are typically the most frequently occurring pesticides in many large-scale water quality studies. Fungicide concentrations ranged from less than the method detection limit to approximately 2000 ngL(-1). Currently, limited toxicological data for non-target species exists and the environmental impacts are largely unknown. The results of this study indicate the importance of including fungicides in pesticide monitoring programs, particularly in areas where crops are grown that require frequent treatments to prevent fungal diseases.

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