Is the Effect Assessment Approach for Fungicides as Laid Down in the European Food Safety Authority Aquatic Guidance Document Sufficiently Protective for Freshwater Ecosystems?

Andreu Rico, Theo C. M. Brock, Michiel A. Daam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Europe, the European Food Safety Authority aquatic guidance document describes the procedures for the derivation of regulatory acceptable concentrations (RACs) for pesticides in edge-of-field surface waters on the basis of tier-1 (standard test species), tier-2 (geometric mean and species sensitivity distributions [SSDs]), and tier-3 (model ecosystem studies) approaches. In the present study, the protectiveness of such a tiered approach was evaluated for fungicides. Acute and chronic RACs for tier-1 and tier-2B (SSDs) were calculated using toxicity data for standard and additional test species, respectively. Tier-3 RACs based on ecological thresholds (not considering recovery) could be derived for 18 fungicides. We show that tier-1 RACs, in the majority of cases, are more conservative than RACs calculated based on model ecosystem experiments. However, acute tier-2B RACs do not show a sufficient protection level compared with tier-3 RACs from cosm studies that tested a repeated pulsed exposure regime or when relatively persistent compounds were tested. Chronic tier-2B RACs showed a sufficient protection level, although they could only be evaluated for 6 compounds. Finally, we evaluated the suitability of the calculated RACs for 8 compounds with toxicity data for fungi. The comparison shows that the current RACs for individual fungicides, with a few exceptions (e.g., tebuconazole), show a sufficient protection level for structural and functional fungal endpoints. However, more data are needed to extend this comparison to other fungicides with different modes of action. Environ Toxicol Chem 2019;38:2279–2293.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2279-2293
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology And Chemistry
Volume38
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Monte de Caparica
  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Fungicides
  • Laboratory single-species tests
  • Mesocosms

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