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Examination of degradation and ecotoxicology of pethoxamid and metazachlor after chlorine dioxide treatment


Chlorine dioxide has been reported as very efficiently removing pesticides and other organic compounds from water matrixes. Due to pesticide toxicity and potential toxicity of their degradation products, it is important to monitor these compounds as environmental pollutants in ground and surface waters. Evaluating the effects of chlorine dioxide treatment is necessary, and toxicity studies are used to ascertain the severity of effects of intermediates due to incomplete degradation of the parent compounds. In this paper, for the first time, chlorine dioxide is applied and evaluated for the removal of chloroacetamide herbicides (pethoxamid and metazachlor) from waters (deionized water and Sava River water). The degradation degree of herbicides was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography, the main degradation products were identified using gas chromatography with a triple quadrupole mass detector, and the degree of mineralization was monitored by total organic carbon analysis. Four and two degradation products were identified after pethoxamid and metazachlor degradation, respectively. Total organic carbon analysis showed mineralization occurred, but it was incomplete. The mineralization and the characteristics of the degradation products obtained were tested using Daphnia magna and showed lower toxicity than the parent herbicides. The advantage of the applied treatment was a very high degradation percentage for pethoxamid removal from deionized water and Sava River water (100% and 97%, respectively), with higher mineralization efficiency (65%) than metazachlor. Slightly lower degradation efficiency in the Sava River water was due to chlorine dioxide oxidizing the herbicides and dissolved organic matter simultaneously.

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The authors would like to thank TwinOxide-RS d.o.o. for providing components for the preparation of chlorine dioxide (TWINS preparation).


This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Grant No. 451-03-68/2020-14/200026; 451-03-68/2020-14/200168).

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Correspondence to Marija V. Pergal.

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Chemical structure of the chloracetamide herbicides; Photograph of the sampling site, the Sava River, Belgrade; Main Sava River water characteristics. (DOCX 911 kb)

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Kodranov, I.D., Pergal, M.V., Avdin, V.V. et al. Examination of degradation and ecotoxicology of pethoxamid and metazachlor after chlorine dioxide treatment. Environ Monit Assess 192, 422 (2020).

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  • Chlorine dioxide
  • Chloroacetamide herbicides
  • Surface water
  • Ecotoxicity
  • Gas chromatography with triple quad mass detector