Chronic aquatic effect assessment for the fungicide azoxystrobin

R.P.A. van Wijngaarden, J.D.M. Belgers, M.I. Zafar, A.M. Matser, M.C. Boerwinkel, G.H.P. Arts

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18 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined ecological effects of a range of chronic exposure concentrations of the fungicide azoxystrobin in freshwater experimental systems (1270 L outdoor microcosms). Intended and environmentally relevant test concentrations of azoxystrobin were 0, 0.33, 1, 3.3, 10, 33 µg ai/L, kept at constant values. Responses of freshwater populations and community parameters were studied. Over the 42-day experimental period, the time-weighted average concentrations of azoxystrobin ranged from 93.5 to 99.3% of intended values. Zooplankton, especially copepods and Daphnia group longispina, were the most sensitive groups. At the population level, a consistent NOEC of 1 µg ai/L was calculated for Copepoda. The NOEC at the zooplankton community level was 10 µg azoxystrobin/L. The principle of the EU pesticide directive is that lower-tier Regulatory Acceptable Concentrations (RACs) are protective of higher-tier RACs. This was tested for chronic risks from azoxystrobin. With the exception of the microcosm community chronic RAC (highest tier), all other chronic RAC values were similar to each other (0.5 – 1 µg ai/L). The new and stricter first-tier species requirements of the EU pesticide regulation (1107/2009/EC) are not protective for the most sensitive populations in the microcosm study, when based on the higher-tier population RAC. In comparison, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) generates Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) which are 5 - 10 times lower than the derived chronic RACs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2775-2785
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • fresh-water microcosms
  • herbicide linuron
  • primary producers
  • outdoor ponds
  • responses
  • 3,4-dichloroaniline
  • chlorpyrifos
  • sensitivity
  • fate
  • invertebrates


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