Fungicides: An overlooked pesticide class?

Environmental Science & Technology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Fungicides are indispensable to global food security and their use is forecasted to intensify. Fungicides can reach aquatic ecosystems and occur in surface water bodies in agricultural catchments throughout the whole growing season due to their frequent, prophylactic application. However, in comparison to herbicides and insecticides, the exposure to and effects of fungicides have received less attention. We provide an overview of the risk of fungicides to aquatic ecosystems covering fungicide exposure (i.e., environmental fate, exposure modelling, and mitigation measures) as well as direct and indirect effects of fungicides on microorganisms, macrophytes, invertebrates, and vertebrates. We show that fungicides occur widely in aquatic systems, that the accuracy of predicted environmental concentrations is debatable, and that fungicide exposure can be effectively mitigated. We additionally demonstrate that fungicides can be highly toxic to a broad range of organisms and can pose a risk to aquatic biota. Finally, we outline central research gaps that currently challenge our ability to predict fungicide exposure and effects, promising research avenues, and shortcomings of the current environmental risk assessment for fungicides.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Fungicides: An overlooked pesticide class?
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.8b04392
Volume 53
Issue 7
Year Published 2019
Language English
Contributing office(s) New Jersey Water Science Center
Description 19 p.
First page 3347
Last page 3365