A nationally consistent approach was used to assess the occurrence and potential sources of pyrethroid insecticides in stream bed sediments from seven metropolitan areas across the United States. One or more pyrethroids were detected in almost half of the samples, with bifenthrin detected the most frequently (41%) and in each metropolitan area. Cyhalothrin, cypermethrin, permethrin, and resmethrin were detected much less frequently. Pyrethroid concentrations and Hyalella azteca mortality in 28-d tests were lower than in most urban stream studies. Log-transformed total pyrethroid toxic units (TUs) were significantly correlated with survival and bifenthrin was likely responsible for the majority of the observed toxicity. Sampling sites spanned a wide range of urbanization and log-transformed total pyrethroid concentrations were significantly correlated with urban land use. Dallas/Fort Worth had the highest pyrethroid detection frequency (89%), the greatest number of pyrethroids (4), and some of the highest concentrations. Salt Lake City had a similar percentage of detections but only bifenthrin was detected and at lower concentrations. The variation in pyrethroid concentrations among metropolitan areas suggests regional differences in pyrethroid use and transport processes. This study shows that pyrethroids commonly occur in urban stream sediments and may be contributing to sediment toxicity across the country.
Additional publication details
Occurrence and potential sources of pyrethroid insecticides in stream sediments from seven U.S. metropolitan areas