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Gewählte Publikation:

Zaller, JG; Kruse-Plass, M; Schlechtriemen, U; Gruber, E; Peer, M; Nadeem, I; Formayer, H; Hutter, HP; Landler, L.
(2022): Pesticides in ambient air, influenced by surrounding land use and weather, pose a potential threat to biodiversity and humans
SCI TOTAL ENVIRON. 2022; 838, 156012 FullText FullText_BOKU

Little is known about (i) how numbers and concentrations of airborne pesticide residues are influenced by land use, interactions with meteorological parameters, or by substance-specific chemo-physical properties, and (ii) what potential toxicological hazards this could pose to non-target organisms including humans. We installed passive air samplers (polyurethane PUF and polyester PEF filter matrices) in 15 regions with different land uses in eastern Austria for up to 8 months. Samples were analyzed for 566 substances by gas-chromatography/mass-spectrometry. We analyzed relationships between frequency and concentrations of pesticides, land use, meteorological parameters, substance properties, and season. We found totally 67 pesticide active ingredients (24 herbicides, 30 fungicides, 13 insecticides) with 10-53 pesticides per site. Herbicides metolachlor, pendimethalin, prosulfocarb, terbuthylazine, and the fungicide HCB were found in all PUF samplers, and glyphosate in all PEF samplers; chlorpyrifos-ethyl was the most abundant insecticide found in 93% of the samplers. Highest concentrations showed the herbicide prosulfocarb (725 +/- 1218 ng sample-1), the fungicide folpet (412 +/- 465 ng sample(-1)), and the insecticide chlorpyrifos-ethyl (110 +/- 98 ng sample(-1)). Pesticide numbers and concentrations increased with increasing proportions of arable land in the surroundings. However, pesticides were also found in two National Parks (10 and 33 pesticides) or a city center (17 pesticides). Pesticide numbers and concentrations changed between seasons and correlated with land use, temperature, radiation, and wind, but were unaffected by substance volatility. Potential ecotoxicological exposure of mammals, birds, earthworms, fish, and honeybees increased with increasing pesticide numbers and concentrations. Human toxicity potential of detected pesticides was high, with averaged 54% being acutely toxic, 39% reproduction toxic, 24% cancerogenic, and 10% endocrine disrupting. This widespread pesticide air pollution indicates that current environmental risk assessments, field application techniques, protective measures, and regulations are inadequate to protect the environment and humans from potentially harmful exposure.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Formayer Herbert
Gruber Edith
Landler Lukas
Nadeem Imran
Peer Maria
Zaller Johann
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Off-target area
Pesticide drift
Human toxicology
Air pollution
Toxic loads
Environmental risk assessment

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