Detections of the Neonicotinoid Insecticide Imidacloprid in Surface Waters of Three Agricultural Regions of California, USA, 2010–2011

  • Keith StarnerEmail author
  • Kean S. Goh


Seventy-five surface water samples were collected from three agricultural regions of California and analyzed for the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid. Samples were collected during California’s relatively dry-weather irrigation seasons in 2010 and 2011. Imidacloprid was detected in 67 samples (89%); concentrations exceeded the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s chronic invertebrate Aquatic Life Benchmark of 1.05 μg/L in 14 samples (19%). Concentrations were also frequently greater than similar toxicity guidelines developed for use in Europe and Canada. The results indicate that imidacloprid commonly moves offsite and contaminates surface waters at concentrations that could harm aquatic organisms following use under irrigated agriculture conditions in California.


Imidacloprid Surface water Pesticide mixtures Agriculture 



Thanks to Staff at CDFA Center for Analytical Chemistry for method development/sample analysis, especially Jean Hsu, Paul Lee, Steven Siegel, Jane White and Elaine Wong; Staff at CDPR, Environmental Monitoring Branch, including Sue Peoples and Jesse Ybarra; Xuyang Zhang and Kevin Kelly for field assistance. The mention of commercial products, their source, or use in connection with material reported herein is not to be construed as either an actual or implied endorsement of such product.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California Department of Pesticide RegulationEnvironmental Monitoring BranchSacramentoUSA

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