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Risk assessment of herbicide mixtures in a large European lake
Lake Geneva is one of the largest European lakes with a surface area of 580 km2. Its catchment area covers 7400 km2, of which approximately 20% is arable land. Monitoring campaigns have been carried out in 2004 and 2005 to determine the contamination of the lake by pesticides. The results highlight the widespread presence of herbicides in water, the measured concentrations for most substances remaining constant in 2004 and 2005. However, for some individual herbicides the concentrations increased drastically (e.g., the herbicide foramsulfuron). We assessed the environmental risk of the herbicides detected in the lake using water quality criteria recently determined for the Swiss environmental protection agency. Furthermore, we assessed the risk of herbicide mixtures, grouped based upon their mode of action. Generally, the risk estimated for all single substances is low, except for some sulfonylurea compounds. For these substances, the measured concentrations are higher than the predicted no-effect concentration. Impact on the flora of the lake can therefore not be excluded. When mixtures of pesticides with similar mode of action are taken into account, the risk remains lower than the mixture water quality criteria for all groups, but can reach as high as one third of this quality criteria. A further step would therefore be to assess the risk of the total pesticide mixture, including similar and dissimilar modes of action
analysis , Complex Mixtures , Environmental Monitoring , Europe , Fresh Water , Herbicides , methods , Pesticides , Risk , Risk Assessment , standards , Switzerland , Water , Water Pollutants,Chemical , Water Supply
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