Joint Toxicity of Triazine Herbicides and Organophosphate Insecticides to the Midge Chironomus tentans
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A series of recent studies demonstrated that the triazine herbicide atrazine, although not itself acutely toxic, potentiated the toxicity of certain organophosphate insecticides (OPs) to the midge Chironomus tentans. In the current study, a series of triazine herbicides and triazine herbicide degradation products were tested to determine if other triazines potentiate OP toxicity to midges. Chlorpyrifos and diazinon were the OPs tested. Toxicity tests were conducted using a factorial design and analysis of variance to statistically determine if each triazine had an effect on expected toxicity. Log-probit procedures were also used to evaluate the magnitude of change in median effective concentration (EC50) values during coexposure with each triazine. All of the triazine herbicides tested (atrazine, simazine, cyanazine, and hexazinone) were capable of potentiating the toxicity of the OPs, whereas the degradation products (s-triazine, deethylatrazine, and deisopropylatrazine) had less effect. In most cases, a triazine concentration of 100 μg/L was necessary to significantly increase OP toxicity, and higher concentrations of triazine caused a greater degree of potentiation. Changes in EC50 values ranged from no change to a 2.5-fold increase in toxicity. Generally, EC50 values changed by less than a factor of 2, indicating that the effect may be of limited concern in regard to future risk assessments of OPs.
KeywordsAtrazine Triazine Chlorpyrifos Diazinon Simazine
This research was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture through the National Research Initiative Competitive Grant Program (Grant No. 2003-35102-13545).
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