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Mar Pollut Bull. 2012 Jul;64(7):1291-9. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.05.011. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

Comparative risk assessment of permethrin, chlorothalonil, and diuron to coastal aquatic species.

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NOAA, National Ocean Service, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, Charleston, SC, USA.


The precise application of risk assessment can lead to different conclusions about risk depending on how species are grouped in the assessment. We compared the use of different risk assessment methods for three different classes of pesticide, the herbicide diuron, the fungicide chlorothalonil, and the insecticide permethrin for marine and estuarine species. Permethrin was the most toxic pesticide to marine and estuarine crustaceans. Diuron was the most toxic pesticide to algae, and chlorothalonil was most toxic to early life stages of molluscs and other invertebrates. Toxicity data (96 h LC50/EC50 values) were analyzed using a probability distribution on the ranked toxicity values and 10th centile values were calculated based on different groups of species and for all species combined. Our results indicate that an assessment of risk based on smaller taxonomic groups can be informative, especially for pesticides of less specific modes of action such as chlorothalonil.

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