A study, published in the October issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, said crop and non-crop uses of imidacloprid in the U.S. are of minimal risk to aquatic invertebrates. The neonicotinoid imidacloprid is one of the most widely-used insecticides. Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide which acts as an insect neurotoxin which act on the central nervous system of insects.
This ecotoxicological review and risk assessment details the body of research, the careful selection and use of the best available data, and the probabilistic risk assessment. The probabilistic approach better predicts the effects to sensitive species, the relevant exposures and the potential risks to aquatic invertebrates in terms of the actual label use directions, and the natural environment for these crops and treated landscapes.
“We conducted 30-year simulations based on realistic, but conservative, assumptions and found that aquatic communities are unlikely to be at risk from acute or chronic exposures to registered uses of imidacloprid,” said Dr. Dwayne Moore, Senior Vice President and Scientist at Intrinsik Environmental Sciences (US) Corp., one of the researchers involved in the review. “In fact, risks were de minimis, the lowest possible category, for all crop and non-crop uses.”
In the assessment, refined exposure models that better represent pest treatments and the environments where applications could be made were used. The researchers found that their aquatic exposure predictions were consistent with a decade of water sampling data available from public sources, including the U.S. Geological Survey.