To document the environmental occurrence and persistence of fungicides, a robust and sensitive analytical method was used to measure 34 fungicides and an additional 57 current-use pesticides in bed sediments and suspended solids collected from areas of intense fungicide use within three geographic areas across the United States. Sampling sites were selected near or within agricultural research farms using prophylactic fungicides at rates and types typical of their geographic location. At least two fungicides were detected in 55% of the bed and 83% of the suspended solid samples and were detected in conjunction with herbicides and insecticides. Six fungicides were detected in all samples including pyraclostrobin (75%), boscalid (53%), chlorothalonil (41%) and zoxamide (22%). Pyraclostrobin, a strobilurin fungicide, used frequently in the United States on a variety of crops, was detected more frequently than p,p′-DDE, the primary degradate of p,p′-DDT, which is typically one of the most frequently occurring pesticides in sediments collected within highly agricultural areas. Maximum fungicide concentrations in bed sediments and suspended solids were 198 and 56.7 μg/kg dry weight, respectively. There is limited information on the occurrence, fate, and persistence of many fungicides in sediment and the environmental impacts are largely unknown. The results of this study indicate the importance of documenting the persistence of fungicides in the environment and the need for a better understanding of off-site transport mechanisms, particularly in areas where crops are grown that require frequent treatments to prevent fungal diseases.
Additional publication details
Occurrence and persistence of fungicides in bed sediments and suspended solids from three targeted use areas in the United States