, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 688-697
Date: 19 Nov 2011

Toxic effects of pentachlorophenol, azinphos-methyl and chlorpyrifos on the development of Paracentrotus lividus embryos

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The application of many current-use pesticides has increased after the disuse of persistent, bioaccumulative or toxic ones as DDT or chlordane. Many of the used pesticides are considered less dangerous towards the environment for their physico-chemical properties. This study investigated the toxic effects of three current-use pesticides, pentachlorophenol (PCP), azinphos-methyl (AZM), and chlorpyrifos, on Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus early development and offspring quality. The experimental results showed that the most toxic pesticides were PCP and AZM at EC50 level. Nevertheless at low concentration PCP resulted the less toxic compound and showed EC1 value more protective than NOEC. PCP at high concentration seemed to modify cytoskeleton assembly, while at low concentrations, it could alter the deposition of the larval skeleton. OPs at low concentrations until 300 μg/l showed a similar toxicological behaviour with a trend corresponding to the pesticide concentrations. At high concentration (500 μg/l) the effect mainly observed was the embryos pre-larval arrest. This investigation highlighted the relevance to evaluate, in coastal seawaters, the levels of the used pesticides to understand the real impact on benthic populations mainly in sites characterized by intensive agriculture or floriculture activities, such as the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea.