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Chemosphere. 2013 Jan;90(2):195-202. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.06.034. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Distinct influence of filter strips on acute and chronic pesticide aquatic environmental exposure assessments across U.S. EPA scenarios.

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Bayer CropScience, 2 T.W. Alexander Dr., Durham, NC 27709, USA.


Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are proposed for protection of receiving water bodies and aquatic organisms from pesticides in runoff, but there is debate regarding the efficiency and filter size requirements. This debate is largely due to the belief that no quantitative methodology exists for predicting runoff buffer efficiency when conducting acute and/or chronic environmental exposure assessments. Previous research has proposed a modeling approach that links the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) PRZM/EXAMS with a well-tested process-based model for VFS (VFSMOD). In this research, we apply the modeling framework to determine (1) the most important input factors for quantifying mass reductions of pesticides by VFS in aquatic exposure assessments relative to three distinct U.S. EPA scenarios encompassing a wide range of conditions; (2) the expected range in percent reductions in acute and chronic estimated environmental concentrations (EECs); and (3) the differential influence of VFS when conducting acute versus chronic exposure assessments. This research utilized three, 30-yr U.S. EPA scenarios: Illinois corn, California tomato, and Oregon wheat. A global sensitivity analysis (GSA) method identified the most important input factors based on discrete uniform probability distributions for five input factors: VFS length (VL), organic-carbon sorption coefficient (K(oc)), half-lives in both water and soil phases, and application timing. For percent reductions in acute and chronic EECs, VL and application timing were consistently the most important input factors independent of EPA scenario. The potential ranges in acute and chronic EECs varied as a function of EPA scenario and application timing. Reductions in acute EECs were typically less than percent reductions in chronic EECs because acute exposure was driven primarily by large individual rainfall and runon events. Importantly, generic specification of VFS design characteristics equal across scenarios should be avoided. The revised pesticide assessment modeling framework offers the ability to elucidate the complex and non-linear relationships that can inform targeted VFS design specifications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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