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Occurrence of pesticides and their transformation products in headwater streams: Contamination status and effect of ponds on contaminant concentrations

Abstract : In France, more than 90% of monitored watercourses are contaminated with pesticides. This high contamination level increases at the head of agricultural watersheds, where dilution capacities are low and transport from treated lands is direct. Ponds, numerous around headwater streams, could provide additional protection against pesticide pollution. Because of their long hydraulic residence time and large water volumes, they mitigate pesticide concentrations between upstream and downstream rivers. However, pesticide transformation products may also be responsible for the degradation of environments, owing to their presence at high concentrations and their persistence, but related data are scarce, particularly because of their high level of molecular diversity. We first reported on the state of water contamination in agricultural headwater streams, based on high frequency water sampling. Analysis of 67 molecules (HPLC-ESI-MS/MS) showed pesticides and pesticide transformation product mixtures of up to 29 different compounds in one sample. Regardless of the sampling location, transformation products represented at least 50% of the detected compounds. Then, we demonstrated the capacity of a pond to reduce contaminant concentrations in downstream rivers for 90% of the detected compounds. Upstream from this pond, environmental quality or ecotoxicological standards were exceeded during sampling, with pesticide and transformation product sum concentrations of up to 27 μg/L. Downstream from the study pond, few exceedances were observed, with a maximum total concentration of 2.2 μg/L, reflecting significant water quality improvement.
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https://hal-anses.archives-ouvertes.fr/anses-03464225
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Submitted on : Friday, December 3, 2021 - 9:35:59 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 2:10:35 PM

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François Le Cor, Sylvain Slaby, Vincent Dufour, Alain Iuretig, Cyril Feidt, et al.. Occurrence of pesticides and their transformation products in headwater streams: Contamination status and effect of ponds on contaminant concentrations. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2021, 788, pp.147715. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147715⟩. ⟨anses-03464225⟩

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