Effects of a mixture of two insecticides in freshwater microcosms: I. Fate of Chlorpyrifos and Lindane and responses of macroinvertebrates

J.G.M. Cuppen, S.J.H. Crum, H. van den Heuvel, R.A. Smidt, P.J. van den Brink

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of chronic application of a mixture of the insecticides chlorpyrifos and lindane were studied in indoor freshwater microcosms. The exposure concentrations (based on 0, 0.005, 0.01, 0.05, 0.1 and 0.5 times the LC50 of the most sensitive standard test organism for each compound) were kept at a constant level for four weeks. The calculated mean concentrations for chlorpyrifos were found to be almost at their corresponding nominal level during the treatment period. The mean calculated lindane concentrations, however, were found to be 15-40% higher than intended. In the post treatment period both insecticides dissipated fast (t 1/2: chlorpyrifos 9 days, lindane 22 days) from the water phase. The concentrations of the mixture at the highest treatment level corresponded to 0.53 toxic units (TU) for Daphnia magna and 0.61 TU for the most sensitive fish. The decomposition of Populus leaves in litter bags was significantly lower at the three highest insecticide concentrations. The macroinvertebrate community was seriously affected at the three highest treatment levels, with Crustacea and the Chironomidae Corynoneura proving to be the most sensitive groups. Gastropoda and Oligochaeta were relatively insensitive and some taxa (e.g. Valvata piscinalis, juvenile Physa fontinalis, Nemertea and Stylaria lacustris) increased in numbers. The observed effects could be explained from the individual toxicity of the insecticides to the invertebrates, and did not indicate synergistic effects. A second paper (Van den Brink et al., 2002) addresses the effects on other endpoints, as well as the overall risk assessment of the insecticide mixture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-180
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • aquatic organisms
  • water pollution
  • pesticides
  • toxicology
  • ecotoxicology


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