Joint acute toxicity of the herbicide butachlor and three insecticides to the terrestrial earthworm, Eisenia fetida.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2016 Jun ;23(12):11766-76. Epub 2016 Mar 5. PMID: 26946506
The herbicide butachlor and three insecticides phoxim, chlorpyrifos, and lambda-cyhalotrhin are widely used pesticides with different modes of action. As most previous laboratory bioassays for these pesticides have been conducted solely based on acute tests with a single compound, only limited information is available on the possible combined toxicity of these common chemicals to soil organisms. In this study, we evaluated their mixture toxicity on the terrestrial earthworm, Eisenia fetida, with binary, ternary, and quaternary mixtures. Two different types of bioassays were employed in our work, including a contact filter paper toxicity test and a soil toxicity test. Mixture toxicity effects were assessed using the additive index method. For all of the tested binary mixtures (butachlor-phoxim, butachlor-chlorpyrifos, and butachlor-lambda-cyhalothrin), significant synergistic interactions were observed after 14 days in the soil toxicity assay. However, greater additive toxicity was found after 48 h in the contact toxicity bioassay. Most of the ternary and quaternary mixtures exhibited significant synergistic effects on the worms in both bioassay systems. Our findings would be helpful in assessing the ecological risk of these pesticide mixtures to soil invertebrates. The observed synergistic interactions underline the necessity to review soil quality guidelines, which are likely underestimating the adverse combined effects of these compounds.