Agricultural sources of contaminants of emerging concern and adverse health effects on freshwater fish

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Abstract

Agricultural contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are generally thought of as certain classes of chemicals associated with animal feeding and production facilities. Veterinary pharmaceuticals used in animal food production systems represent one of the largest groups of CECs. In our review, we discuss the extensive increase in use of antibiotics in animal feeding operations (AFOs) around the world. AFOs are a major consumer of antibiotics and other veterinary pharmaceuticals and over the past decade there has been growing information on the occurrence, release, and fate of CECs from animal food production operations, including the application of pharmaceutical-containing manure to agricultural fields and releases from waste lagoons. Concentrations of CECs in surface and ground water in proximity to AFOs correspond to their presence in the AFO wastes. In many cases, the environmental concentrations of agriculturally-derived CECs are below toxicity thresholds. Hormones and hormone replacement compounds are a notable exception, where chemical concentrations near AFOs can exceed concentrations known to cause adverse effects on endocrine-related functions in fish. In addition, some agricultural pesticides, once thought to be safe to non-target organisms, have demonstrated endocrine-related effects that may pose threats to fish populations in agricultural regions. That is, we have pesticides with emerging concerns, thus, the concern is emerging and not necessarily the chemical. In this light, one must consider certain agricultural pesticides to be included in the list of CECs. Even though agricultural pesticides are routinely evaluated in regulatory testing schemes which have been used for decades, the potential hazards of some pesticides have only recently been emerging. Emerging concerns of pesticides in fish include interference with hormone signaling pathways; additive (or more than additive) effects from pesticide mixtures; and adverse population-level effects at concentrations below predicted toxicity thresholds. Consequently, there is a need to evaluate the environmental concerns related to pesticide exposures to fish populations based on current biological and toxicological techniques. This presentation reviews some of the agricultural chemicals that have emerged as contaminants of concern and potentially threaten fish populations in agricultural watersheds.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Agricultural sources of contaminants of emerging concern and adverse health effects on freshwater fish
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher World Scientific
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, Columbia Environmental Research Center
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Title International seminar on nuclear war and planetary emergencies : 44th session : the role of science in the third millenium : E. Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy, 19-24 August 2011
First page 337
Last page 348
Conference Title International Seminar On Nuclear War And Planetary Emergencies - 44th Session : The Role Of Science In The Third Millennium
Conference Location Erice, Italy
Conference Date August 19-24, 2011
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N