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Aquatic Organisms including Crustaceans and Insects

Neonicotinoids

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Neonicotinoids in California Their Use and Threats to the State’s Aquatic Ecosystems and Pollinators, with a Focus on Neonic-Treated Seeds Pierre Mineau; Pierre Mineau Consulting'Neonic-treataed seed use is not tracked in California’s Pesticide Use Reporting database (PUR). As a result, neonic-treated seed use has never been estimated in California as opposed to all other states where the data was tracked by the U.S. Geological Survey until the agency discontinued tracking seed treatments in 2014.  The report concludes that:  If seed treatments were fully used on crops where they are allowed, the amount of neonics applied as seed treatments would equal 512,000 pounds annually. This total exceeds the 410,000 pounds of neonics that are applied by other means... This potential use of neonic-treated seeds would cover roughly 76% of the total cropland area in California, approximately 4 million acres. This potential neonic-treated seed use has implications for water quality and ecosystem health. In its modeling approach, USEPA greatly underestimates aquatic contamination from neonic-treated seeds;     Ample independent field evidence already shows that use of neonic-treated seeds results in neonic levels in water sufficient to cause injury to aquatic habitats... Monitored sites usually show concentration from 10X to 100X the benchmark. 'This data alone indicate a very high probability that neonics are causing ecosystem-wide damage.'  SNAP Comment: Apparently Saskatchewan has 7.0 million acres of cropland, 75% more than in California. Neonicotinoids are widely used as seed treatment for many crops in Canada, including canola. I am sure the amount used a seed treatment is large as the canola acreage seemingly increases annually an other seeds are likely treated as well. Saskatchewan studies also indicate widespread neonic contamination in sloughs and effects on swallows. I am unsure at this point whether the PMRA even looks at any wide-scale ecological effect. I suspect not, as this type of study is usually carried by independent scientists and generally gets eliminated during re-evaluations in favour of industry studies. 

What’s Bad for Bees Could Be Bad for Marine Life, Too   Preliminary research shows that a popular insecticide hampers arthropods in the ocean. (by Ramin Skibba, PANNA, May 4, 2020)  'They found that coral exposed to the insecticide had reduced polyp activity—an indication of increased stress. Shrimplike amphipods were affected, too. Even at low doses, imidacloprid exposure inhibited their movement. And for some, high levels of exposure were fatal.  Hladik says most of the concentrations of neonics tested in Davis’s experiment were unrealistically high—beyond what is seen in the wild. But even low doses, she adds, could still be a hazard for marine life.'

Documented Decline of Mayflies, a Keystone Species, Destabilizes Ecosystems (Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2020)    'Recent research reveals a precipitous decline in numbers of mayflies in territories where they have been historically abundant.  Neonicotinoid insecticides are a significant factor in this decline because mayflies are exquisitely vulnerable to their impacts, even at very low exposure levels.  The plummeting mayfly “count” is especially alarming because mayflies are a critical, primary food source in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and provide an important ecological service.  Three phenomena account for most of this dive in mayfly populations: (1) dramatically increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides in recent years in these regions; (2) algal blooms, especially in Lake Erie, caused primarily by runoff of agricultural fertilizers and other nutrient-dense pollutants; and (3) the warming impacts of the climate crisis, which include higher water temperatures that can cause havoc with the development of these tiny creatures...  Neonics in Great Lakes tributaries, for example, have registered at levels 40 times those established as protective by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Aquatic Life Benchmarkaccording to a 2018 study....also see  In a Pesticides and You article, “Pesticide Use Harming Key Species Ripples through the Ecosystem,

The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds. Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Birds. by Dr. Pierre Mineau and Cynthia Palmer. American Bird Conservancy, March 2013. Extensive section water contamination and toxicity to aquatic organisms. Mason and colleagues (2013) postulate that many of the severe epizootic diseases that seem to arise with alarming frequency result of immune suppression resulting from low level exposure to neonicotinoids.

Glyphosate

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Long-Term Roundup Exposure Found to Harm Keystone Wildlife Species   (Beyond Pesticides, January 6, 2021)  “The problem is that much of the evidence is rooted in outdated toxicity tests which only look at the number of animals that die on exposure to extremely high concentrations of these chemicals,” Dr. Orsini said. “These tests also overlook the pathological effects arising from long-term exposure to low doses. What we’re proposing is that toxicity is measured by looking at what happens to the animal at a molecular and fitness level following long-term exposure, which encompasses the entire animal life cycle.”   Changes in fitness were seen for every trait except mortality. Roundup delayed average age of sexual/reproductive maturity, reduced size at maturity, decreased the total number of offspring produced, and increased developmental failure – as determined by the number of aborted eggs, and juveniles borne dead..  Researchers also observed damage to DNA, with glyphosate and Roundup showing only slight differences in affected pathways      Roundup and glyphosate were also found to indirectly alter both the makeup and total number of microbiota in the water flea’s gut. These changes were correlated with alterations to the way fat and carbon are metabolized, as well as the animal’s detoxification pathways.

see also filed waterneonicotinoidsglyphosate. and forestry

Pesticide Concentration through Metamorphosis Contaminates Birds and Bats   (Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2022) Pesticides can accumulate in aquatic fly larvae, be retained through metamorphosis, and represent a source of chronic pesticide exposure to birds and bats, according to research published in Environmental Science and Technology earlier this month. ...researchers aimed their study at present use fungicides and herbicides that have not yet undergone similar scrutiny. This includes seven fungicides—azoxystrobin, boscalid, cyflufenamid, fluopyram, tebuconazole, pyrimethanil, and trifloxystrobin—and two herbicides—napropamide and propyzamide. The study notes that formulated end use products, rather than technical grade active ingredients, were used in order to best mimic real world exposure conditions. Exposed midge larvae were then allowed to metamorphosize into adults. After this process, researchers again tested the level of pesticide concentrated in the flies. Adult flies in the medium and high exposure levels all retained pesticides in their bodies, and five of the nine pesticides (trifloxystrobintebuconazoleboscalidpropyzamideazoxystrobin) were also found in adult midges exposed to the lowest treatment levels.   It was determined that roughly 10-94 parts per billion of pesticide per year is moving from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems as a result of this process. ...the researchers find that bats and birds feeding on contaminated midges could result in low to moderate chronic pesticide exposure. SNAP Comment: There are currently 46 pesticides containing azoxystrobin registered in Canada, 19 containing boscalid, 0 with cyflufenamid, 18 with fluopyram, 57with tebuconazole, 6 with pyrimethanil, 28 with trifloxystrobin, 8 with napropamide and 4 with propyzamide. This research is relevant to Canada. Swallows and especially shorebirds depend on aquatic insects.

Neonicotinoids in California Their Use and Threats to the State’s Aquatic Ecosystems and Pollinators, with a Focus on Neonic-Treated Seeds Pierre Mineau; Pierre Mineau Consulting'Neonic-treataed seed use is not tracked in California’s Pesticide Use Reporting database (PUR). see neonicotinoid subpage on this page

“Silence of the Clams”—Study Highlights the Threat of Multiple Pesticide Stressors to Bivalves   (Beyond Pesticides, January 4, 2021) Chronic exposure to pesticides used in conventional forestry operations runoff and harm soft shell clams, according to a recent study published in Science of the Total Environment, entitled “The silence of the clams: Forestry registered pesticides as multiple stressors on soft-shell clams. Rather than focusing on the impact of a single chemical, researchers analyzed the combined effects of several pesticides.   The pesticides tested included various combinations of atrazine, hexazinone, indaziflam, and bifenthrin. Every ten days, the tanks were dosed, and 30 days the clams were analyzed for their weight and growth.   Every combination of pesticide dosing resulted in higher mortality rates than control tanks where clams were not exposed to any pesticides.  Many of the nonlethal changes observed indicate a loss of fitness in the environment, such as elongated shells, low tissue weight, and slower rate of clearing algae from their tank with clams exposed to a combination of atrazine and hexazinone.'

Aquatic Wildlife Populations Take A Nosedive after Neonicotinoid Exposure   (Beyond Pesticides, November 10, 2021) 'The diversity and abundance of freshwater aquatic insects plunges when commonly used neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides leach into waterways, finds research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.    The experiments used 'thiacloprid, a neonic insecticide often cited by industry and regulators as having lower toxicity concerns than other neonicotinoids. Mimicking a pulse that may come from a nearby insecticide application, each group of ditches was dosed every two weeks for a period of three months.'    'By the end of the study, compared to the control group overall insect biomass declined by 11, 4, and 50% along a gradient of increasing amounts of neonic dosing. Diptera, the large order of flies, accounted for the bulk of biomass declines. Within one order of Diptera known as Chironomidae midges, populations crashed from an initial identification of 29 species down to a single species in the highest dosed ditches.'     A range of other aquatic insects such as beetles, dragonflies, caddisfles and mayflies were also harmed.    '“We saw dramatic declines in all the species groups studied, such as dragonflies, beetles and sedges,” said study author Henrik Barmentlo, PhD, both in absolute numbers and in total biomass. “In the most extreme scenario, the diversity of the most species-rich group, the dance flies, even dropped to a single species.  ”'SNAP Comment: As of 18 November 2021, there are 3 thiacloprid priducts registered by the PMRA.

Organochlorine Pesticides among South China Sea Coral Reefs   (Beyond Pesticides, August 12, 2021) A recent study published in Chemosphere identifies the concentration, consequences, and potential sources of 22 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) among corals in the South China Sea (SCS) for the first time. SCS corals exhibit a higher affinity toward bioaccumulation of OCPs, which are legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention—a global treaty to eliminate POPs. The study finds the distribution of OCPs in coral tissue matches that of the surrounding oceanic air samples.... Long-range atmospheric transport and condensation are significant contributors to the global contamination of environmental pollutants like OCPs.

Chemicals, including Pesticides, in Wastewater Discharge Contaminate Oysters in Pacific Northwest   (Beyond Pesticides, July 08, 2021) 'A Portland State University (PSU) study finds oysters of varying distances from wastewater discharge pipes along the Oregon and Washington state coast contain low levels of chemical contaminants....Although wastewater treatment facilities clean water draining from sinks and toilets, the process does not adequately remove all contaminants. The process can leave behind pharmaceutical drugs and personal care products (e. g., shampoos, make-up, deodorant) residues in treated water. PSU has already found that pesticides from the forestry industry threaten clams, mussels, oysters (bivalves) along the Oregon coast..  Although this study finds that chemical concentrations present in oysters remain under federally established guidelines, aquatic environments continuously encounter environmental pollutants and toxic compounds. These contaminants are known to have harmful biological consequences on both aquatic and terrestrial organisms.  The use of pharmaceuticals, like antibiotics and antifungals treatments, and pesticides in local marine ecosystems (e.g., insecticides to control sea lice in farmed salmon) results in coastal habitat loss and genetic health risks like pest resistance among wild marine organisms.'

Ecosystem Health: Pesticide Use from Forest Management Practices Threatens Essential West Coast Marine Organisms    (Beyond Pesticides, March 11, 2021) A Portland State University (PSU) study finds that pesticides from the forestry industry threaten clams, mussels, oysters (bivalves) along the Oregon state coast. Bivalves are excellent indicator species, signaling environmental contamination through their sedimentary, filter-feeding diet. However, continuous pesticide inputs—from various forestry management regimes—into watersheds along Oregon’s coastal zone endanger these species in downstream rivers and estuaries (river mouths).... The study results detect 12 different chemical compounds (two herbicides, three fungicides, and seven insecticides) in both water and bivalve samples—five of which are current-use pesticides in forest management. Although pesticide concentration and type vary by season, organism, and watershed location, 38 percent of bivalve samples harbor pesticide concentrations high enough to accumulate in tissuesIndaziflam (a current-use herbicide in Oregon forestry) is present in seven percent of bivalve samples. Furthermore, water samples find current-use herbicides hexazinone and atrazine, and banned pesticides like DDT/DDE contribute to aquatic contamination downstream. The study uncovers that most contamination occurs along the Central Oregon Coast in the Siuslaw and Smith watersheds       Additionally, coastal and offshore aquaculture (farming of aquatic organisms) presents a new, looming threat to marine health. Namely, the use of antibiotics and pesticides on local marine ecosystems (e.g., insecticides to control sea lice in farmed salmon) results in coastal habitat loss and genetic and health risks to wild marine populations.   SNAP Comment: As of 23 March 2021, 7 Indaziflam products are registered in Canada, most for orchards and one for non residential/non-crop areas which includes railroads and utilities but not specifically forestry. 5 Hexazinone products with 3 used for alfalfa and blueberries, and 2 for woodland management and Christmas tree plantations, and 12 Atrazine labels which seem to be for use mostly in corn and agriculture. I suspect that extensive water testing in Canada would indicate the presence of many pesticides that likely could accumulate in bivalves and other aquatic organisms. If these particular products were found, the source would likely be agricultural and not forestry. 

Pesticides and Road Salt: A Toxic Mixture for Aquatic Communities      (Beyond Pesticides, January 7, 2021) Insecticides and road salts adversely interact to alter aquatic ecosystems, reducing organism abundance and size, according to a study in the journal Environmental Pollution. Pesticide use is ubiquitous, and contamination in rivers and streams is historically commonplace, containing at least one or more different chemicals.   Researchers performed a toxicity evaluation of six insecticides from three chemical classes (neonicotinoidsthiamethoxam, imidacloprid; organophosphates: chlorpyrifos, malathion; pyrethroids: cypermethrin, permethrin). Additionally, researchers note the potentially interactive effects of these insecticides with three concentrations of road salt (NaCl).   Researchers find that differing pesticide classes directly impact aquatic communities, and exposure to insecticides indirectly alters the food web in freshwater communities.    Although pesticides and road salts individually impact aquatic communities, this study is the first to demonstrate their interactive effects. 

Long-Term Roundup Exposure Found to Harm Keystone Wildlife Species   (Beyond Pesticides, January 6, 2021)  “The problem is that much of the evidence is rooted in outdated toxicity tests which only look at the number of animals that die on exposure to extremely high concentrations of these chemicals,” Dr. Orsini said. see glyphosate subpage on this page

What’s Bad for Bees Could Be Bad for Marine Life, Too   Preliminary research shows that a popular insecticide hampers arthropods in the ocean. (by Ramin Skibba, PANNA, May 4, 2020) see neonicotinoid subpage on this page

Ecosystem-Killer Fipronil More Toxic Than Previously Thought, Found in Waterways Throughout the U.S. (Beyond Pesticides, October 27, 2020) The insecticide fipronil is more toxic to aquatic insects than previously thought, often present in U.S. waterways, and can trigger trophic cascades that disrupt entire aquatic ecosystems, finds new research published by the U.S. Geological  Survey (USGS). The data have important implications for waterways throughout the country, but particularly in the Southeast U.S. where the chemical was found at hazardous levels in over half of sampled steams. USGS has provided regulators at EPA with a framework for evaluating ecosystem-wide effects; one that should be instituted into our currently pesticide regulatory framework immediately.  SNAP Comment: As of 28 October 2020, the PMRA label search comes up with 0 fipronil products, either curently or historically registered.

U.S. Geological Survey Finds Mixtures of Pesticides Are Widespread in U.S. Rivers and Streams    (Beyond Pesticides, September 24, 2020) 'A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project, reveals the presence of pesticides is widespread in U.S. rivers and streams, with over almost 90 percent of water samples containing at least five or more different pesticides. Thousands of tons of pesticides enter rivers and streams around the U.S. from agricultural and nonagricultural sources, which contaminate essential drinking water sources, such as surface water and groundwater.    'The median number of pesticides present per water samples from each land-use type is highest in agricultural settings with 24 pesticides, and lowest in mixed (both agricultural and developed land) settings with seven pesticides. Developed areas fall in the middle, amassing 18 pesticides per water sample. Pesticides in water samples are potentially acutely to chronically toxic to aquatic invertebrates and chronically toxic to fish. Of the 221 pesticide compounds analyzed, 17 (13 insecticides, two herbicides, one fungicide, and one synergist) are primary drivers of toxicity in aquatic taxonomic groups. According to the PTI analysis, one pesticide compound contributes to >50% of the sample toxicity, while other present pesticides only contribute minimally to toxicity.

Documented Decline of Mayflies, a Keystone Species, Destabilizes Ecosystems (Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2020)    'Recent research reveals a precipitous decline in numbers of mayflies in territories where they have been historically abundant.  Neonicotinoid insecticides   for more details see neonicotinoid subpage on this page

Common Fungicides’ Use Leads to Algae Blooms   (Beyond Pesticides, October 1, 2019) ...'real world complexities as described in the current study are not reviewed ( by regulatory agencies). This gap in our assessment can lead to significant adverse effects not just on individual species, but entire ecosystems....The agricultural fungicides tebuconazole and azoxystrobin were tested. These results indicate that use of the fungicide may be facilitating harmful algae blooms by suppressing fungal pathogens that may otherwise control their growth...There is a need not only to consider the issue raised by the current study, but the wide ranging indirect impacts of pesticide use.'

Water is the Connection: Managing Pesticide Risk for Salmon Recovery
A Guide for Willamette Valley Farmers
  (NCAP, June 2017)  This publication is designed to help pesticide applicators, especially in agriculture, learn about salmon in the Willamette Basin and the pesticides that are harmful to salmon or their food sources. Pesticide label language that indicates potential for aquatic contamination is explained. Voluntary Best Management Practices (BMPs) to minimize pesticide risk to aquatic habitats are included. Pesticide applicators can choose among these BMPs to reduce the risk of harming salmon. SNAP Comment: Most of the pesticides discussed here are also used in Saskatchewan and the risk to aquatic environments and other fish species is likely similar. With only 1 provincial  and 2 federal pesticide inspectors in Saskatchewan, most misuse is never reported, and even less prosecuted. The importance of this report is in presenting sucessful alternatives to pesticides.

Are Neonicotinoids hurting wild insects and the birds that eat them? (Jan. 12, 2014. Trevor Herriot's Grass Notes). Good overview of the problem and great links.

Antimicrobials Alter Stream Communities and Lead to Resistance, Study Finds (Beyond Pesticides, August 12, 2013) Exposure to triclosan caused severe declines in the diversity of bacteria along the stream floor and changes to the overall community. Additionally, researchers found triclosan changed abundance of cyanobacterial sequence by almost six times, resulting in a “dramatic die off of algae.”  Algae are a lot more sensitive than previously thought.

Third Time in Three Years – Pesticides Believed to be Cause of Fish Kills in Canada (Beyond Pesticides, July 31, 2013)

Connecticut Passes Law to Curb Pesticide Use to Save Lobsters (Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2013).Declines in Long Island  Sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common for the past 15 years, devastating fishermen and the local economy that depends on them. Methoprene and resmethrin accumulate in sediments in the sea and kills lobsters. In the summer 2012, both  chemicals were detected in lobster tissue . This law will ban their use for mosquito control in coastal areas. 

The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds. Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Birds. by Dr. Pierre Mineau and Cynthia Palmer. American Bird Conservancy, March 2013. Extensive section water contamination and toxicity to aquatic organisms.   more details on neonicotinoid subpageo on this page.

Deltamethrin Approved for New Brunswick Salmon Fisheries   (Beyond Pesticides, October 25, 2010) In an effort to control sea lice in farmed Atlantic salmon Health Canada has approved a request by the province of New Brunswick to use the pesticide Alphamax, whose active ingredient is deltamethrin. The high concentrations of salmon in aquaculture facilities has lead to major problems with sea lice...  Many local fishermen concerned about the effects the pesticide will have on fish and shellfish populations… They have been using other chemicals to control the outbreaks, includinghydrogen peroxide, Salmosan (azamethiphos), SLICE (emamectin benzoate) and Calicide (teflubenzuron). Glenn Brown, owner of the Grand Manan Company Admiral Fish Farms Ltd. explained, “What we’d really like is a suite of tools we could use in a strategic way.” Unfortunantly pesticides that kill sea lice also kill lobster explained Ms. Sonnenberg… Environment Canada is currently investigating the illegal use of another synthetic pyrethroid cypermethrin.Cypermethrin is not permitted for use in Canada but is used to control sea lice in salmon farms in Maine. Cypermethrinhas been linked to lobster deaths in waters around New England and Canada. According to Matthew Abbot, coordinator of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick’s Fundy Baykeeper Project, putting anything into the water that kills sea creatures is a violation of Canada’s Fisheries Act. He suggests controlling sea lice simply by limiting the number of salmon in cages.

Pyrethroid Pesticides in Streams Found Toxic to Indicator Species (Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2010) Pyrethroids, among the most widely-used home pesticides, are winding up in California rivers at levels toxic to some stream-dwellers, possibly endangering the food supply of fish and other aquatic animals... The main sources appear to be readily available insecticides applied around the home...Pyrethroids were present in urban runoff and in effluent from sewage treatment plants... Farm runoff, however, only occasionally contained pyrethroids at toxic levels, although some agricultural runoff did contain toxic levels of organophosphate insecticides…A study from 2009 also found home pesticide use to be a significant contributor to water pollution leading to fish kills and loss of aquatic species diversity...Organophosphates and pyrethroid pesticides were found in all water samples taken over a two year period... In addition, a study published in 2008 found pyrethroid contamination in 100 percent of urban streams sampled.

Ecosystem Health: Pesticide Use from Forest Management Practices Threatens Essential West Coast Marine Organisms    (Beyond Pesticides, March 11, 2021) A Portland State University (PSU) study finds that pesticides from the forestry industry threaten clams, mussels, oysters (bivalves) along the Oregon state coast. Bivalves are excellent indicator species, signaling environmental contamination through their sedimentary, filter-feeding diet. However, continuous pesticide inputs—from various forestry management regimes—into watersheds along Oregon’s coastal zone endanger these species in downstream rivers and estuaries (river mouths).... The study results detect 12 different chemical compounds (two herbicides, three fungicides, and seven insecticides) in both water and bivalve samples—five of which are current-use pesticides in forest management. Although pesticide concentration and type vary by season, organism, and watershed location, 38 percent of bivalve samples harbor pesticide concentrations high enough to accumulate in tissuesIndaziflam (a current-use herbicide in Oregon forestry) is present in seven percent of bivalve samples. Furthermore, water samples find current-use herbicides hexazinone and atrazine, and banned pesticides like DDT/DDE contribute to aquatic contamination downstream. The study uncovers that most contamination occurs along the Central Oregon Coast in the Siuslaw and Smith watersheds       Additionally, coastal and offshore aquaculture (farming of aquatic organisms) presents a new, looming threat to marine health. Namely, the use of antibiotics and pesticides on local marine ecosystems (e.g., insecticides to control sea lice in farmed salmon) results in coastal habitat loss and genetic and health risks to wild marine populations.   SNAP Comment: As of 23 March 2021, 7 Indaziflam products are registered in Canada, most for orchards and one for non residential/non-crop areas which includes railroads and utilities but not specifically forestry. 5 Hexazinone products with 3 used for alfalfa and blueberries, and 2 for woodland management and Christmas tree plantations, and 12 Atrazine labels which seem to be for use mostly in corn and agriculture. I suspect that extensive water testing in Canada would indicate the presence of many pesticides that likely could accumulate in bivalves and other aquatic organisms. If these particular products were found, the source would likely be agricultural and not forestry. 

filed under Wildlife/ aquatic organisms and forestry