Priority pesticides in Chile: predicting their environmental distribution, bioaccumulation, and transport potential


Agriculture is one of the main economic activities in Chile and is associated with extensive use of pesticides, which can represent a risk to the environment and to human health. Currently, there are over 400 pesticides approved for commerce in Chile, including chemicals banned in other countries (e.g., flocoumafen, chlorfenapyr). An empirical analysis of their potential environmental effects is difficult due to this large number, thus opening the doors for the use of computational tools for prioritization efforts based on their persistence, bioaccumulation, and transport potential in the environment. The main objectives of this study were to estimate the properties and environmental distribution of pesticides approved for commerce in Chile and to generate a priority list for further evaluation in local environments. We used the EPI Suite interface to estimate the distribution coefficients, half-lives, and bioaccumulation potential of all pesticides registered in the Chilean Agriculture and Livestock Services (SAG). Additionally, the Pov & LRTP Screening Tool was used to estimate their overall persistence and long-range transport potential in the environment. The results were used to develop a P-B-LRT score, which considered persistence, bioaccumulation, and long-range transport potential. All pesticides were compared to a group of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), used as reference compounds, to generate a list of priority pesticides with Persistent Organic Pollutants characteristics (POP-like). The results showed that most pesticides were distributed between the organic phase and water, where they also showed the longest half-lives and bioaccumulation potential. A group of 21 pesticides showed relatively high P-B-LRT scores, compared to PCBs, and were classified as priority compounds. The list was further refined based on the volume of sales for each pesticide. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2022 SETAC.

Authors: Carolina Concha, Carlos A Manzano
; Full Source: Integrated environmental assessment and management 2022 Sep 7. doi: 10.1002/ieam.4680.