Environmental contamination with neonicotinoid insecticides represents an issue of wide concern due to their negative effects on pollinators. The goal of this work was to evaluate the potential use of biomixtures employed in biopurification systems (BPS) to remove two neonicotinoid pesticides, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, from wastewater of agricultural origin. The removal was assayed by quantification of the parent compounds and the detection of putative transformation products of imidacloprid by means of LC-MS/MS, and mineralization of radiolabeled imidacloprid. Two biomixtures (B1, B2) were prepared using coconut fiber, compost and two soils pre-exposed to imidacloprid (volumetric composition 50:25:25). After spiking of neonicotinoids and 228 days of treatment, the removal ranged from 22.3%–30.3% and 38.6%–43.7% for imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, respectively. Transformation products imidacloprid-urea, desnitro-imidacloprid and desnitro-olefin-imidacloprid were detected in both biomixtures. The mineralization of 14C-imidacloprid revealed DT50 (mineralization half-lives) values of 3466 and 7702 days in the biomixtures B1 and B2, respectively, markedly lower than those in the soil used in their preparation (8667 and 9902 days, respectively). As demonstrated by these findings, the high persistence of these compounds in the BPS suggests that additional biological (or physicochemical) approaches should be explored in order to decrease the impact of neonicotinoid-containing wastewater of agricultural origin.
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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