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Challenges 2014, 5(1), 138-151; doi:10.3390/challe5010138

Changes in Acid Herbicide Concentrations in Urban Streams after a Cosmetic Pesticides Ban

1
Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, 125 Resources Road, Toronto, ON M9P 3V6, Canada
2
Water Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada, Canada Centre for Inland Waters, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON L7R 4A6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 October 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 31 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality in the City)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [873 KB, uploaded 31 March 2014]   |  

Abstract

Surface water concentrations of the acid herbicides 2,4-D, dicamba and mecoprop were measured in ten urban Ontario streams before (2003–2008) and after (2009–2012) a ban on the sale and use of pesticides for cosmetic (non-essential) purposes. Frequencies of detection (2003–2012) were 98%, 96% and nearly 100%, respectively for 2,4-D, dicamba and mecoprop. Concentrations were typically in the ng L−1 range, although periodic spikes in the µg L−1 range were observed. Concentrations in a majority of the study streams decreased significantly following the cosmetic pesticides ban. Concentrations decreased from 16% to 92% depending on the stream and herbicide. The presence of these herbicides in urban streams was likely a result of urban applications. Concentrations were significantly related to population density or urban land cover, and the relative proportion of the three herbicides observed in urban stream water approximated the ratios found in pesticide products formulated for urban use. Longer-term trends indicate that decreases in stream water herbicide concentrations may have preceded the ban and may be related to increased public awareness of pesticide issues and voluntary reductions in urban pesticide use.
Keywords: acid herbicides; surface water quality; urban streams; cosmetic pesticides ban; pesticide use regulation acid herbicides; surface water quality; urban streams; cosmetic pesticides ban; pesticide use regulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Todd, A.; Struger, J. Changes in Acid Herbicide Concentrations in Urban Streams after a Cosmetic Pesticides Ban. Challenges 2014, 5, 138-151.

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