Occurrence and potential sources of pyrethroid insecticides in stream sediments from seven U.S. metropolitan areas

Environmental Science & Technology
By: , and 



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.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Occurrence and potential sources of pyrethroid insecticides in stream sediments from seven U.S. metropolitan areas
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/es2044882
Volume 46
Issue 8
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher ACS Publications
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Science and Technology
First page 4297
Last page 4303
Country United States
State Alabama;Connecticut;Georgia;Massachusetts;New Hampshire;Rhode Island;Texas;Utah;Washington;Wisconsin;Wyoming
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