The current study documents the fate of current-use pesticides in an agriculturally-dominated central California coastal estuary by focusing on the occurrence in water, sediment and tissue of resident aquatic organisms. Three fungicides (azoxystrobin, boscalid, and pyraclostrobin), one herbicide (propyzamide) and two organophosphate insecticides (chlorpyrifos and diazinon) were detected frequently. Dissolved pesticide concentrations in the estuary corresponded to the timing of application while bed sediment pesticide concentrations correlated with the distance from potential sources. Fungicides and insecticides were detected frequently in fish and invertebrates collected near the mouth of the estuary and the contaminant profiles differed from the sediment and water collected. This is the first study to document the occurrence of many current-use pesticides, including fungicides, in tissue. Limited information is available on the uptake, accumulation and effects of current-use pesticides on non-target organisms. Additional data are needed to understand the impacts of pesticides, especially in small agriculturally-dominated estuaries.
Additional publication details
Environmental fate of fungicides and other current-use pesticides in a central California estuary